Vroman’s Live

Bookstore boasts stellar lineup for September
By Arroyo Staff

The renowned bookstore Vroman’s is hosting more top-notch virtual programs throughout September.

The “Vroman’s Live” events are held virtually and in person. Register through vromansbookstore.com. Anyone with questions is asked to email email@vromansbookstore.com.

Vroman’s Virtual events will be presented through Crowdcast. Registration link below.

The Gathering Dark Group Event

6 p.m. Wednesday, September 7

The event features Aden Polydoros, Alex Brown, Olivia Chadha, Shakira Moise and Tori Bovalino.

A cemetery full of the restless dead. A town so wicked it has already burned twice, with the breath of the third fire looming. A rural, isolated bridge with a terrifying monster waiting for the completion of its summoning ritual. A lake that allows the drowned to return, though they have been changed by the claws of death. These are the shadowed, liminal spaces where the curses and monsters lurk, refusing to be forgotten.

Hauntings, and a variety of horrifying secrets, lurk in the places everyone once called home. Written by New York Times bestselling and other critically acclaimed authors, these stories shed a harsh light on the scariest tales.

Crowdcast virtual event link: https://bit.ly/GatheringVroman

In-person events

Vroman’s in-person events generally do not require tickets and are free and open to the public. Masks are strongly encouraged for those attending the events. 

Most in-person events will all be held at Vroman’s, located at 695 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit vromansbookstore.com or email@

Margaret Kerrison, in conversation with Nancy Seruto, discusses “Immersive Storytelling: For Real and Imagined Worlds”

7 p.m. Friday, September 9

How do you take an idea from inspiration to manifestation? How do you move from telling a story to creating a world? In this richly illustrated book, the first of its kind written specifically for writers, Margaret Kerrison lays out the craft of immersive storytelling. She uses case studies to show what works and highlights the essential role of the writer on a complex creative team. This book provides the blueprint. 

Rasheed Newson discusses “My Government Means to Kill Me”

4 p.m. Saturday, September 10

A fierce and riveting queer coming-of-age story following the personal and political awakening of a young gay Black man in 1980s New York City, from the television drama writer and producer of “The Chi,” “Narcos” and “Bel-Air.”

Born into a wealthy Black Indianapolis family, Earl “Trey” Singleton III leaves his overbearing parents and their expectations behind by running away to New York City with only a few dollars in his pocket. 

In the city, Singleton meets up with a cast of characters who change his life forever. He volunteers at a renegade home hospice for AIDS patients and, after being put to the test by gay rights activists, becomes a member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). Along the way Singleton attempts to navigate past traumas and searches for ways to maintain familial relationships — all while seeking the meaning of life amid so much death.

Susan Branch discusses 

“Distilled Genius: A Collection of Life-Changing Quotations”

11 a.m. Sunday, September 11

“Distilled Genius: A Collection of Life-Changing Quotations” is from Susan Branch, the New York Times bestselling author of 16 books since 1986. 

This is a 40-year curated collection of quotes from Mark Twain to the Bhagavad Gita, from Anne Frank and George Patton to Marcus Aurelius and Louisa May Alcott, and from Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln and Maya Angelou to the Bible. 

Susan Coll, in conversation with Cynthia D’Sprix Sweeney, discusses “Bookish People”

7 p.m. Thursday, September 15

Independent bookstore owner Sophie Bernstein is burned out on books. Mourning the death of her husband, the loss of her favorite manager, her only child’s lack of aspiration, and the grim state of the world, she fantasizes about going into hiding in the secret back room of her store.

Meanwhile, renowned poet Raymond Chaucer has published a new collection, and rumors that he’s to blame for his wife’s suicide have led to national cancellations of his publicity tour. He intends to set the record straight — with an ultra-fine-point Sharpie — but only one shop still plans to host him: Sophie’s.

Fearful of potential repercussions from angry customers, Bernstein wants to cancel Chaucer’s appearance. 

Vroman’s presents Craig Johnson discussing
“Hell & Back: A Longmire Mystery”

7 p.m. Monday, September 19

In “Hell & Back,” the 18th installment of the Longmire series, author Craig Johnson takes the beloved sheriff to the very limits of his sanity to do battle with the most dangerous advisory he’s ever faced — himself. 

This ticketed event will take place at All Saints Church located at 132 N. Euclid Avenue, Pasadena. Masks are required. 

Tickets include a copy of “Hell & Back,” which will be handed out at check-in. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com.

Patricia Schultz discusses
“Why We Travel: 100 Reasons to See the World”

7 p.m. Tuesday, September 20

For years, Patricia Schultz has been telling readers where to travel. Now, she reveals what makes her such a compelling guide and what makes travel such a richly rewarding experience. 

The comedy of mishaps that she and friends endured on a canal trip through Southern France — and how it brought them together in an unexpected way. She quotes favorite authors and luminaries on the importance of travel and, in a series of memorable aphorisms, gets to the essence of why to travel. And gives us a few travel hacks, too. 

Sandra Cisneros, in 

conversation with Cherrie Moraga, discusses
“Women Without Shame: Poems”

7 p.m. Wednesday, 

September 21

It has been 28 years since Sandra Cisneros published a book of poetry. “Woman Without Shame” is a moving collection of songs, elegies and declarations that chronicle her pilgrimage toward rebirth and the recognition of her prerogative as a woman artist. 

These bluntly honest and often humorous meditations on memory, desire, and the essential nature of love blaze a path toward self-awareness. For Cisneros, “Woman Without Shame” is the culmination of her search for home — in the Mexico of her ancestors and in her own heart. 

Javier Zamora, in conversation with Yesika Salgado, discusses
“Solito: A Memoir”

7 p.m. Thursday, September 22

Javier Zamora’s adventure is a 3,000-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone amid a group of strangers and a “coyote” hired to lead them to safety, Javier expects his trip to last two short weeks.

At 9 years old, all Zamora can imagine is rushing into his parents’ arms, snuggling in bed between them, and living under the same roof again. He cannot foresee the perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions that await him, nor can he know that those two weeks will expand into two life-altering months alongside fellow migrants who will come to encircle him like an unexpected family.

“Solito” provides an immediate and intimate account not only of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also of the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments. 

Luis I. Reyes discusses “Viva Hollywood: The Legacy of Latin
and Hispanic Artists in American Film”

7 p.m. Tuesday, September 27

Through an authoritative narrative and lavish photography, this is an in-depth history of the stars, films, achievements and influence of the Hispanic and Latino community in Hollywood history from the silent era to the present day.

Overcoming obstacles of prejudice, ignorance and stereotyping, this group has given the world some of its most beloved stars and told some of its most indelible stories. “Viva Hollywood” examines the stars in front of the screen as well as the people behind the scenes who have created a rich legacy across more than 100 years.

World War II saw an embrace of Latin culture as the “Good Neighbor Policy” made it fashionable and patriotic to feature stories set south of the border. Social problem films of the 1950s and ’60s brought fresh looks at the community, with performances like Katy Jurado in “High Noon,” the cast of “West Side Story,” and racial inequality depicted in George Stevens’ “Giant.” Civil rights, the Chicano movement, and the work of activist actors such as Ricardo Montalban and Edward James Olmos influenced further change in Hollywood in subsequent decades and paved the way for modern times and stars the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Illustrated by more than 200 full-color and black-and-white images, “Viva Hollywood” is a celebration of the legacy of some of the greatest art and artists captured on screen. 

Char Miller discusses “Natural Consequences:
Intimate Essays for a Planet in Peril”

7 p.m. Thursday, September 29

Living in Southern California, Char Miller walks readers through the environmental touchstones of his backyard, through his neighborhood, into the widely varied ecospheres of California, and then the world beyond.

The essays encourage readers to look for themselves at the meaning behind environmental disasters and injustices. 

Return of The Royce

Langham Huntington, Pasadena’s
premier steakhouse reopens
By Kamala Kirk
The Langham Huntington, Pasadena/Submitted photos

After a two-and-a-half-year closure due to the pandemic, The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena recently reopened its doors to welcome guests back. In addition to an updated menu that highlights new dishes alongside classic favorites, The Royce also has a new chef de cuisine, Jorge Delgado. 

Raised in Tijuana, Mexico, Delgado was inspired at an early age by his grandfather, who was a baker, and helped his mother make burritos from scratch to sell. Delgado later graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, and his culinary experience extends from the Caribbean to Los Angeles, including the Roof on Wilshire under the direction of celebrity chef Eric Greenspan.

Prior to The Royce, Delgado worked for Patina Restaurant Group, where he cooked alongside renowned chefs such as Jean Pierre at Kendall’s Brassiere and Sydney Hunter at Café Pinot. He also worked at the acclaimed Barton G with chef Attila Pollok, as well as for events like the Primetime Emmy Awards.  

“I’ve challenged myself and our team to make The Royce the very best restaurant in Pasadena and among the top in LA,” Delgado says. 

The menu features a variety of fine-quality steaks, including wagyu and grass-fed selections from the island of Tasmania that are prepared over a wood-fired grill with white oak and seasonal wood to ensure maximum flavor and juiciness. 

New entrée and appetizer highlights range from Moroccan bone-in short rib for two with spiced onion rings to grilled Spanish octopus with charred baby corn, pea tendrils and chard scallion sauce, in addition to Hamachi crudo with jalapeño relish and avocado mousse, and crab cakes with leche de tigre and Meyer lemon aioli.

Diners will also enjoy an expanded offering of comforting side dishes such as street corn polenta with pickled red onion and Royce’s loaded potato with five-cheese fondue. Selections can be paired with house-made sauces like Tabasco béarnaise, chimichurri infused with bone marrow, and Royce’s secret R-1 sauce.

“Guests have been loving our new appetizers, particularly the grilled Spanish octopus, beet salad and dry-aged steak tartare,” Delgado says. “And for entrees, the grilled Branzino and Moroccan bone-in short rib for two have been extremely popular.”

A signature cocktail program will soon be available to accompany the new Royce selections, as well as the restaurant’s current extensive wine list that boasts classic Old World wines and New World choices that best complement each dish.

“We are absolutely thrilled to announce the long-awaited return of The Royce Steakhouse,” says Paul Leclerc, managing director of The Langham Huntington, Pasadena. “Under the leadership and creativity of chef Delgado, our signature restaurant will bring a truly elevated experience that is sure to please both loyal patrons and new diners, and we look forward to welcoming the community back to enjoy once again.”

The Langham Huntington, Pasadena

1401 S. Oak Knoll Avenue, Pasadena



5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday

The Art of Feng Shui

Create harmony in your space with this ancient Chinese practice
By Kamala Kirk
Katherine Carter Design/Submitted photos

Environment plays an important role in contributing to mental and physical health, and a home can be designed to have a positive impact on your life. Being happy is essential to well-being, and with many of us working remotely and spending more time at home these days, it’s crucial that one’s surroundings reflect the things that bring them joy.  

A person’s environment can have a major impact on how they feel and perform, which is why living or working in a cluttered space can negatively affect one’s mental health. Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art dating back thousands of years that is centered around the positioning and placement of various elements in order to create balance and harmony of “chi,” the energy or life force that surrounds us. 

Feng shui has become popular in the interior design world, and practitioners of feng shui believe that creating the ideal environment can go so far as to improve various aspects of one’s life including health, love and finances.

“The term ‘feng shui’ literally means ‘wind-water,’” says Katherine Carter, a celebrity interior designer based in Los Angeles. “It’s an ancient Chinese traditional practice that claims to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment.” 

For those that are new to feng shui, Carter says the easiest way to get started is to become educated on the principles of feng shui.

“A bagua map helps you map out your home according to this ancient practice,” she says. “Feng shui is all about balancing different elements such as wood and water, and yin with yang. The bagua map, which translates to ‘eight trigrams’ in Chinese, is an important tool for creating this kind of harmony and balance throughout a space.”

According to Carter, feng shui divides the world into five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each element represents certain traits, and aiming to balance them can help one thrive more in different areas of their life. 

“The most important aspect of creating a feng shui home is incorporating the five elements themselves,” Carter says. “These come from the Taoist tradition. The elements are five interrelated phases in life that work together to create a complete system. Typically when you feng shui your home, you balance these five elements. A good start is focusing on the three most vital rooms in your house, which are the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen.”

Carter says bathrooms are crucial because they can become energy drains. To prevent this, she advises keeping the toilet lid shut and the bathroom door closed as often as possible. With bedrooms the focus should be around the bed, so she suggests using a sturdy headboard for a greater sense of security and making sure the bed is against a wall for more grounding sleep. The kitchen represents wealth, abundance and health, so it’s important to keep it clean, free of clutter, and grease free.

Colors are another important aspect of feng shui and are representative of the five elements, which can be incorporated into one’s home by painting a room, creating an accent wall or adding decorative items.

“Red is the color that supersedes all others,” Carter says. “It’s the most powerful color in feng shui and is considered very auspicious. Red is often used to protect and clear a home or a person’s energy. It represents the element of fire and, because of its intensity, is considered a lucky color in feng shui. Use it in doses to redirect around the home.”

Carter says yellow is a cheerful and uplifting color while orange is considered a social color — happy, vibrant and eye catching. Both colors can induce hunger, so she warns not to put them in the kitchen area.

“Think of most fast-food chains and their color combinations are typically yellow,” Carter says. “It’s fascinating how color is used in marketing and advertising. It just goes to show how powerful what we may perceive a simple color to be affects our moods and cravings. It can also trigger the intellect, as it’s mentally stimulating.”

Green represents balance, growth, abundance and youthfulness, while blue establishes a sense of calm.

“It’s the color of the sky and ocean, and therefore gives a sense of vastness,” Carter says. “Purple has a feeling of royalty, wealth and high spirituality. White is all about new beginnings, purity and innocence. Black is introspective and represents a void; pink is the color of unconditional love, softness and receptivity; and brown is an earth tone and therefore nurturing and grounding.”

According to Carter, mirrors are also very important in feng shui and should only be hung in certain rooms of the house due to their powerful abilities.

“If you want to attract wealth into your life, place a mirror in the dining room because mirrors hold wealth,” Carter says. “Try not to have mirrors directly facing windows, because they can bring outside energies inside. Avoid having mirrors behind your sofa because they can hurt your sense of security. Mirrors in the kitchen can amplify negative energies, and if it’s facing the stove it can create a yin-yang imbalance. You should also avoid mirrors in the bedroom because they can stir up energy.”

Plants also contribute to feng shui, and to manifest more wealth, Carter recommends placing a fresh green house plant (a water feature or crystal will also work) in the wealth corner of the bedroom. When standing in your bedroom, the far left corner is the wealth corner.

“Any healthy indoor plant growing well is excellent for feng shui, encouraging positive energy,” Carter says. “Foliage plants with lush leaves are traditionally the best feng shui plants, promoting clean air and positive energy in living spaces. You can also put cacti in parts of the home that have existing bad energy. Cacti and succulents are known to ward off bad energy with their harsh spokes, but they also absorb bad energy more efficiently than traditional house plants.”

 If one is looking to enhance their love life, Carter says feng shui can also help with that.

“Your love corner is located in the southwest corner of your home,” she says. “Here you can pair items up whether it be two chairs, two candles or two plants. Two of anything will help create ‘couple harmony.’ And throw away any objects from a previous love if you haven’t already.”

Carter also shares some feng shui dos and don’ts to follow when building a home.

“If you’re fortunate enough to build a new home or purchase land, the house should not be built on a ridge, on a cliffside, at a river outlet, next to a bridge or highway, or at an intersection,” she says. “Avoid sloping behind the house. The most auspicious house direction in feng shui is south facing, which is good for light, chi absorption and family harmony. A mountain behind your home is a feng shui ideal for building, as it provides abundance to the front door. Street intersections, church steeples and tall buildings can direct negative chi energy toward you home and should be avoided. Don’t build near negative chi accumulations such as cemeteries, garbage dumps, hospitals, landfills or prisons. Cul-de-sac lots can create a pooling of chi energy that becomes stagnant and can’t enter your home easily. And homes positioned at the end of a street are in a difficult location since all the chi energy will rush towards your home.”

The 5 Elements

Wood (green) represents energy, passion, expansion and transformation.

Fire (red) represents personal growth and renewal.

Earth (orange, yellow, earth tones) represents safety and comfort.

Metal (gray, white, pastel shades) represents mental strength and intellectual abilities.

Water (blue, black) represents the flow of money and career.

Katherine’s Top 5 Feng Shui Tips

1. Declutter your home.

2. Learn about the five feng shui elements.

3. Let in air and light.

4. Choose the correct bed location. You want your bed situated so that when you’re lying in bed, you can see the door to the bedroom. However, you don’t want to be directly in line with the door either. Place diagonal from the door if possible.

5. Use plants for adding good energy.

Katherine Carter Design


Instagram: @katherinecarterdesign


Nonprofit supports victims of sex trafficking, in-crisis youth, young adults
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation/Submitted photo


IVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation (GML) is on a mission to improve the lives of LA County’s most vulnerable. 

The dedicated professionals of this foundation serve LA County youth and young adults in crisis, at risk, homeless or in foster care, and victims of sex trafficking. 

It is a layer of the healing process, partnering with LA County Specialized Bureau for Commercial Sexual Exploited Children (CSEC), LA County Division of ZOE International, Learning Works Charter School and CSEC foster group homes.

In 2010, Donna Pierson, founder and chair of GML, along with a group of volunteers began working with foster girls in the Pasadena area who were exploited, in crisis and traumatized. Nine years later, she founded GML to expand the footprint and services to support these victims across all of Los Angeles County. 

“As in our name, we give, mentor and love,” says Natalie Friberg, vice chair of GML.

“We give immediate and continued support of basic needs as well as financially. We’re contacted daily to provide urgently needed essentials including emergency housing, transportation, educational supplies, tuition assistance, clothing, baby items and so much more.”

Mentoring is also at the core of the nonprofit’s mission, helping victims rediscover their self-worth. Over the past year, their mentor programs involved hundreds of hours with foster care youths, victims rescued from the sex trade, teen moms, homeless teens, and others in crisis and at risk. “We mentor one on one, in CSEC group homes and on Learning Works campuses though special events and programs hosted regularly,” Friberg says. 

Loving is also at the forefront for GML. Friberg describes many of the youth and young adults they serve as “angry, rebellious and distrusting because of the trauma, abuse and neglect they have suffered.” GML loves the victims and youth they serve unconditionally to help them move beyond the trauma and thrive.

On October 1, GML will host its annual fundraiser to support LA County children rescued from the sex trade and exploitation, and in-crisis youth and young adults with a theme of “IMAGINE… A World of Fear Turned into a World of Wonder”. 

In addition to giving, mentoring and loving, GML is focusing on the desperate and immediate need to develop CSEC Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) housing in LA County. 

TAY housing is for CSEC victims between the ages of 18 to 21 who have aged out of the system and need specialized extended foster care, as the trauma experienced at the hands of their exploiters and buyers causes tremendous detrimental impact to their physical, emotional, developmental and psychological well-being.

“It takes a village, and GML is on a mission to build a village,” Pierson says. 

Adela Estrada, CSEC program administrator for LA County, explains the importance of securing these facilities: “We are in need of homes in LA County that can house these youth so that they have a safe place to live with the consistent guidance and support they need to heal, recover, and learn the skills needed to live independently and as contributing members of society.”

“Please help us support these children by attending or sponsoring our annual fundraiser. Your support could mean the difference between life and death to one of these victims,” Pierson states. 

GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation


Authenticity is Key

Pacific Clinics unlocks the potential of all
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Pacific Clinics/Submitted photo

“Authentic” and “acceptance” are two words that are often used in tandem with Pacific Clinics.

California’s largest community-based nonprofit provider of behavioral and mental health services, Pacific Clinics unlocks the full potential of individuals and families through culturally responsive, trauma-informed, research-based services.

Its programs were strengthened when the agency merged with Uplift Family Services earlier this spring. 

“Our local roots are in Pasadena, when we first opened our doors as Pasadena Child Guidance over 95 years ago” says Myeisha Gamino, Pacific Clinics’ chief communications officer. 

“Through the merger, we can innovate and utilize amazing technology that allows us to really understand behavioral patterns. That’s the nice thing about coming together. We’re able to bring our systems together and map out what the community needs and to best help the people we serve.” 

Pacific Clinics offers a full range of mental and behavioral health services, foster care and social services, housing, continuing adult education and early childhood education programs to primarily Medi-Cal eligible individuals and families.

The staff is entrenched in the community, providing culturally and linguistically relevant services in over 22 languages across California. 

“A really nice part of the merger gave us the opportunity to serve more people of all ages,” she says. 

Serving newborns through the elderly, Pacific Clinics’ staff shares its successes through YouTube and other media to show others that healing does happen. 

“Through our consumer quality assurance boards, some of our clients have given back,” she says. “Some have found recovery and now helping others by sharing their stories and helping us to create welcoming and engaging sites for people of all ages.”

Along with delivering a comprehensive range of services, Pacific Clinics has long been a strong voice for behavioral health care providers and clients statewide. Since 2020, Pacific Clinics and Uplift Family Services have partnered to jointly operate one of the state’s first certified community behavioral health clinics, a national model for integrated behavioral and physical health care.

“I love working with Pacific Clinics,” she says. “To be able to get up and make a positive difference every day is just amazing. We have such a great team who’s dedicated to the community, and we continue to serve our local community in Pasadena – just as we have for nearly a century.”

Pacific Clinics


Fun with a Purpose

Boys & Girls Club provides a safe place for youth
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Chris Mortenson/Staff photographer

Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena is about fun — but with a purpose. 

To maintain that goal, the nonprofit is hosting its 14th annual fundraiser, the Black Tie & Burgers gala, at Centennial Square in front of Pasadena City Hall. 

Themed Back to the ’80s, the event will transport guests to the 1980s, with big hair and shoulder pads along with burgers from The Habit. The event will include auctions; live music from an ’80s cover band; and fundraising opportunities to benefit the club’s programs focused on academic success, healthy lifestyles and character and leadership development.

“We are excited to host our event at a special Pasadena location this year,” says Melina Montoya, Black Tie & Burgers event chair. 

“We can’t wait to bring the Back to the ’80s theme to Pasadena. We all know that the 1980s remind people of bold fashion, great music on cassette tapes, neon colors, iconic celebrities and so much more. This year’s event is also an exciting celebration of the club’s 85th anniversary and all the amazing work that the BGCP has done since 1937.” 

Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena Chief Executive Officer Lisa Cavelier says the night is designed to be fun and meaningful. She is hoping to raise $250,000.

“For years, it’s been in a backyard in Pasadena,” she says. “We moved it out to an iconic place, Centennial Square in front of Pasadena City Hall.

“When it’s lit up at night, there’s no place more Pasadena, more iconic than Pasadena City Hall. Our thinking is we want to showcase ourselves as another icon of Pasadena. For 85 years, we’ve given amazing service to the kids and families of this community.”

Although the event is black tie, it’s playful as well. Men don their tuxedo jackets and may pair them with Bermuda shorts, “fun, striped pants” and blue jeans. It’s all in good fun to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena’s programs. 

“Last year, we blew it out bigger than we ever had,” Cavelier says. “This one is promising to be the same. 

“We had a Cuban theme in 2018. I had just started this job. I saw women in amazing Cuban dresses and men with big cigars and interesting jackets. People do like to dress the theme. With the ’80s, you might see some of that. Last year it was an Italian theme, and it felt so good to be outdoors and gather again. Plus, we had no reports of COVID.”

Since 1937, the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena has enriched the lives of young people in the community, enabling them to reach their full potential as productive, caring, healthy and responsible citizens. 

Annually, the club serves more than 2,000 youth, filling the gap between school and home. It operates four locations in the Pasadena area: Slavik Branch on East Del Mar Boulevard, Mackenzie-Scott Branch on North Fair Oaks Avenue, and two Pasadena/Altadena locations at Odyssey Charter Schools’ North and South campuses.

Cavelier has witnessed challenges and victories throughout her four years with the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena.

Mackenzie-Scott Branch was recently renovated with new paint, flooring, lighting, HVAC and enhanced security. 

“The building looks phenomenal,” Cavelier says. “We increased security in the lobby with a second set of double doors, so visitors have to be clicked through twice to increase that barrier to the kids.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena celebrated the renovations and its 85th anniversary on August 5 with a community birthday party. It gave the public the chance to see the building and enjoy some fun. 

“We had a bounce house and a dunk tank,” she says. “The kids were dunking each other — one teen after the next, one tween after the next. That new event kicked off our whole year of celebrations we’re going to do.” 

Last summer, Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena doubled its footprint, adding two clubhouses to Odyssey Charter Schools, providing care, activities and homework help for more than 270 children. 

“It was an important, new move for us as we seek to serve more children,” she says. 

With the two new spaces, the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena upped its staff and “completed a wild summer with 475 kids for the summer program.” The pools were open, and 50 kids traveled to the mountains for sleepaway camp. 

“On all fronts we’re thriving,” she says. “We’re doing what we’ve set out to do with our mission to reach kids.”

Also, a year ago, the club revamped its transportation program as well, raising money to invest in vans branded with its colors and name. Previously, the organization was paying more than $100,000 annually for bus service. 

“We have fun with a purpose,” Cavelier says. “Every single day that kids come to our programs at all four sites there’s a purpose, whether it’s Power Hour, homework help. They don’t just fiddle around with their homework. They get homework done. We have tutors. We take academic success very, very seriously. That’s a staple of what we do every single day with children and youth. Kids need a safe place to be in the afternoons and during the summers where they can have a sense of belonging. Safety is always our No. 1.” 

Back to the ’80s: Black Tie and Burgers

WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday, October 15

WHERE: Pasadena City Hall, 100 Garfield Avenue, Pasadena

COST: Tickets start at $200

INFO: blacktie22.givesmart.com

Advocates for the Less Fortunate

Union Station fights to end homelessness
By Summer Aguirre
Union Station Homeless Services/Submitted photo

Union Station Homeless Services has tirelessly worked to put an end to homelessness and rebuild lives since the 1970s.

According to Chief Executive Officer Anne Miskey, the nonprofit’s services are still required. 

“The need is still out there,” she says. “It’s still huge. I think we’re doing a great job, but we can always do more. The city of Pasadena, the citizens of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley have been instrumental in our success, and going forward, we want to just continue to work with the community and bring our neighbors home.”

Union Station Homeless Services offers housing solutions, supportive services and building relationships with communities in Pasadena, San Gabriel Valley and Northeast Los Angeles. 

Headquartered in Pasadena, Union Station Homeless Services is nearing its 50th anniversary. It was established by a local faith group as a drop-in center, growing into a multiservice agency providing assistance and support for people experiencing homelessness.

Its “full wraparound services” are shaped to address the needs of each individual or family. Team members work to get them into a safe, stable situation by developing a housing plan, which may lead directly to a permanent residence or interim “bridge” housing. They also determine and provide any required supportive services, whether that is assistance with basic needs, health care, education or workforce development.

Miskey emphasizes the nonprofit’s value of relationship building, as outreach teams are sent to directly meet those experiencing homelessness.

“It really is about that human connection,” she says. “That is what makes the difference in helping people get off the streets. Our team builds relationships with people and then really works to get those that we work with into permanent housing.”

According to Miskey, the nonprofit has helped more than 8,000 people with housing, shelter and services and supplied approximately 380,000 meals since 2020.

This year, Pasadena was one of the few California communities that experienced a decrease in the number of people reporting homelessness. A statement said that 2022 is down 9% from 19% in 2020.

Miskey says that while the reduction is small, it is a significant feat considering the number of individuals who fall into homelessness on a daily basis.

“In Pasadena, the reason for that is because we have incredible partnerships with this city, with the police department, with the public health department and with other agencies,” she says. 

“Because we have this incredible, supportive partnership, it has made all the difference in the world in getting people off the street and into housing.”

She also attributed the decrease to the implementation of state- and city-funded interventions launched during the pandemic to keep people experiencing homelessness safe.

Union Station contributed to Project RoomKey, a COVID-19 response that provides wraparound services and secures temporary shelters at hotels and motels.

It also participated in the Project HomeKey program, which assists local agencies obtain the necessary funding to purchase and develop hotels, motels, apartments and other properties into permanent housing. 

The nonprofit manages three hotels that successfully supported two full encampments, and opened a tiny village several months ago.

As the pandemic winds down, however, Miskey acknowledges fears of homelessness numbers climbing again.

“While we were able to do a lot during COVID, I think a lot of people are very afraid that was the end of some of these initiatives,” she said.

Within the next few years, Union Station’s team has projects in mind to construct high-quality, permanent housing for individuals and families. They will expand their jobs program and look into creating a health program focusing on mental health support, addiction and other health concerns.

“There are a lot of myths going on right now about why people are homeless and that it’s the fault of the individual,” Miskey says. 

“With 15 years of experience, not only in Pasadena but all across the country we’ve worked, it really is about the high cost of housing and the lack of appropriate services for people. So, we can’t blame the individual, who’s the victim.”

Miskey urges the public to advocate for elected officials to implement true solutions for homelessness, creating more affordable housing and offering the appropriate services to assist the most vulnerable in our communities.

She encourages others to donate to organizations like Union Station, too, or look into nearby volunteer opportunities, as the knowledge of someone caring about them can be transformative for those experiencing homelessness.

“It is truly the volunteer support, financial support of the community, of our elected officials, the various departments,” Miskey says. 

“They have helped us really be able to support people who are living on our streets and move them from homelessness into being reintegrated back into the community, being stable and really regaining their sense of hope and purpose in life.”

Union Station Homeless Services



Forever Home

‘Angels’ help Cancer Support Community find its space
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Cancer Support Community Pasadena/Submitted

Cancer Support Community Pasadena has found its home.

After 32 years of providing support, education and hope to families facing cancer in three leased facilities, the nonprofit will move into a permanent facility next year. 

“Our exciting new home is in Sierra Madre, and we plan to move in spring 2023,” says Patricia Ostiller, executive director. 

“Thanks to the transformative generosity of Ellen and Harvey Knell, and three additional lead donors, we have achieved our first goal — purchasing the property.”

The Knells “got the ball rolling” and donated $1 million to push the organization forward. “Three additional angels” offered six-figure gifts, according to Ostiller. 

“Sierra Madre is a beautiful neighborhood for our mission. It’s very friendly and down to earth and relaxing. We look forward to our members finding peace and comfort and relaxation and support in Sierra Madre — and we look forward to getting to know our neighbors.”

Before Cancer Support Community moves in spring, when the lease expires, the building must undergo improvements. 

Having concluded the quiet phase of its $3.75 million capital campaign, Be the Key, Cancer Support Community has launched the public phase to support extensive interior renovations needed to facilitate program delivery and to increase the organization’s reserves for building maintenance. 

“Our donors are excited about this news, too, and we look forward to joining hands with our entire community to help us ensure a successful campaign,” Ostiller says. 

“A variety of permanent naming opportunities are available at bethekey.cscpasadena.org.”

Cancer Support Community provides professionally led support groups, educational workshops and healthy lifestyle classes to cancer patients and their families.

“Importantly, everything we offer is free of charge, thanks to our dedicated donors,” Ostiller adds. 

“When you have cancer, even if you have insurance, there may be very high deductibles. You may lose time at work for treatments. 

“It’s a very stressful time emotionally and financially. We’re pleased to offer our programs at no charge for our participants. They have enough on their mind.”

Cancer Support Community Pasadena partners with oncologists to ensure stellar medical care. 

“In addition to treating the body, the other part is addressing the psychosocial needs of cancer patients, reducing anxiety, stress, providing participants with coping skills and resources,” she says. 

“That’s what our support groups do. Nobody understands cancer better than other people going through it. They know what it feels like to have nausea after chemo, what helps with nausea. Our support group participants become lifelong friends because they’re going through difficult journey together.”

The larger building will also allow Cancer Support Community to offer new programs at its participants’ request. An outdoor oasis will provide solace for patients. 

“We can have our support groups in a private outdoor space with a water feature and landscaping,” she says. “It’ll provide for a beautiful outdoor space, especially here in Southern California.”

Cancer Support Community Pasadena



The Art of Sisterhood

College’s exhibit empowers ideas of female identity
By Bridget McNeil
Chris Mortenson/Staff photographer

Women. Art. Science Fiction. These may not be the first three concepts that immediately seem to link together, but at Williamson Gallery at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, it makes a perfect trio. 

With an inclusion of established and emerging artists, Cantos of the Sibylline Sisterhood is a platform where artists reimagine presentations and statements of marginalized identities with the hope to impact future cultural conditions. 

Co-curators Julie Joyce and Christina Valentine, both Pasadena locals with backgrounds in curation, are also fans of science fiction. And as such, they present “Cantor of the Sibylline Sisterhood,” a project in the making since 2019, which combines artists together who use science fiction, fantasy, spirituality and mythology. 

“Christina and I both really love science fiction and admire female artists addressing themes around these alternate realities that search for power,” Joyce says. 

“It is nice to see this show actualized after so much time has passed with all the disruptions,” Valentine adds. “But now, it has become even more significant in light of recent court decisions.” 

Women especially throughout history have held a special place as trusted sources to foretell the future. In other words: sibyls. This exhibit of sibyl feminist, queer and trans artists is an eclectic mix of mediums, messages, colors and materials. 

Each artist presents differently. The show includes pieces from April Bey, Chitra Ganesh, Lezley Saar, Erica Ryan Stallones, Molly Surazhsky, Mariko Mari, Mai-Thu Perret, Marnie Weber, Saya Woolfalk and The Revolution School. 

Artist Mari’s digital piece, one of the earliest pieces designed in the exhibit among all the artists, plays on a continuous loop and can be seen as both the art that greets at the entrance as well as closes at the exit. 

“The piece’s title roughly translates into ‘the goddess’ song,’” Valentine says. “Mariko Mari oftentimes intersects spiritual religious practices with science fictions contexts. This performance creates an in-between space.”

The video was recorded at the Kansai International Airport in Japan, which is known for its futuristic architecture. Therefore, it elevates the idea of the “in-between” having been filmed in a “real space.” It opens the context of what space and intersects two worlds. 

“She’s become a model for many artists,” Joyce says. “She was so important in the early 2000s. In fact, many of the other artists were excited to be included within the same exhibit as Mariko Mari. And this is one of her most iconic videos.”

Mari’s other included piece in the exhibit is at the opposite end of the show. While also a digital work, its contrast is that it isn’t filmed in a real space but is digitally derived to address a real space. Also worth noting, it is an older video showed in its original low-resolution digital recording to honor the time in which it was conceived. 

“Here she creates a whole space that is referencing a real space,” Valentine explains. “It is about ritualistic references and this idea of creating an interstitial space, which is an opening between magical and physical realms.”

Another established artist, Weber, a local, is included in the show with some of her early pieces. 

“She had these Japanese soft porn magazines and cut out figures and collaged them into more ideal landscapes,” Joyce says. “She saw herself as rescuing these women. There are magical, worldly landscapes included that have both real and science fiction connotations, like the desert, where often many stories take place.”

Another LA-based artist, April Bey, creates art from experiences as a woman of color. 

“April is Bohemian American and has verbally told an anecdotal story once of when she was 8 years old and heard her dad explain racialized experiences she would have throughout her life as a Black American,” Valentine says. “He had said, ‘It’s like we’re from another planet.’ And April went on to create works from this idea where she has these experiences and reports back to ‘her planet.’”

An early installation piece by artist Saya Woolfalk was re-designed for the space at the ArtCenter campus. Woolfalk has created a fictional utopian universe that unites science fiction, fantasy and cultural anthropology, for which she has deemed them as a new breed of women, the Empathics, who are tech-savvy, plant-human hybrids and are deeply empathic. A video of the origin story of the Empathics accompanies the large 3D work. 

“It is obviously a science-fiction narrative,” Valentine explains. “But you can see the underpinnings of social critique of commentary. It’s the idea that people would evolve through interconnective ways to the environment through empathic abilities. That’s a wonderful thing to consider. Art can address issues through the guise of science fiction narratives, and this allows people to consider these angles without being guarded.”

While most of the artists included in the show are based in either New York or Los Angeles, artist Perret is based in Switzerland with a Vietnamese and French background. She has created life-size imaginary women who are part of “New Ponderosa” and live autonomously in the New Mexico desert. The works are borrowed from a local LA gallery.

“These are part of a larger group of figures, and they are made out of extraordinary materials,” Joyce says of the ceramic, silicone, cloth and other media used. “I love the superhero feeling they present.” 

Joyce and Valentine have put together a show with a common theme by artists who have used many different medias. Ganesh created a comic book series for children; she was inspired by Hindu mythology and creates a new future narrative format. Artist Saar uses mixed-media, collage and photomontage to explore race, identity, gender and history. 

Stallones created an installation work of intimate paintings and audio narratives to explore a relationship between history, mythology and contemporary narratives of science-fiction encounters. She explores both wonder and horror at all the possibilities. And The Revolution School is a group of artists, activists and volunteers launching the idea that superheroes can be real, as in real people can address homelessness and social economical inequities. And by releasing traumas, we can break the cycle of oppression in power. This piece is interactive and welcomes visitors to participate in the superhero stories. 

Surazhsky, a Ukrainian Russian American, created an imagined utopian world of women around healing and care of others through a fashion line that references healing. Her idea of women is expansive and includes trans women. 

“So on the one hand, you have this science-fictional world, but it also addresses real-world issues pertaining to the medical industry’s response to women’s health and LTBTQ community’s health issues,” Valentine explains. 

One piece, a life-size female form, wears a sheath-like drape of pockets full of natural remedies. 

“She comes from a family where medical needs where addressed by the grandmother,” Valentine says. “It shows a way in which women’s health is in our own hands.”

Although the show began its journey pre-COVID-19, the full journey only becomes relevant as the show finally launched in 2022. 

“Art is always relevant in a cultural context because artists are always addressing things in a multi-dimensional way,” Valentine says. “The wonderful thing about we do is the relevance to these current moments.” 

Cantor of the Sibylline Sisterhood

WHEN: Various times through Wednesday, November 23

WHERE: Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, ArtCenter College of Design, 1700 Lida Street, Pasadena

COST: See website

INFO: artcenter.edu; Visitors must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (with booster when eligible) and provide proof of vaccination. Visitors who are unable to provide proof of vaccination must wear a medical grade multi-layered mask/face covering on campus and practice physical distancing.

Market Experts

Hythe Realty’s founders answer top real estate questions
By Kamala Kirk
Hythe Realty/Submitted photo

Over the past few years, the California housing market has seen a lot of changes. Since the pandemic, the pricing of real estate soared with home prices up almost 20% across the state due to an increase in demand. But recently things have started to shift and are showing signs of a more balanced housing market, which has led many prospective homebuyers and sellers to question what the future holds.

Seasoned broker Vera Nelson and Realtor Barbara Richardson King are award-winning all-stars and Pasadena natives that joined forces in 2020 to start Hythe Realty. Along with their team of highly motivated professionals and trustworthy real estate agents, Nelson has helped guide clients during the entire process with her expertise, vast market knowledge, high level of ethics and integrity, and ability to come up with solutions for every client and situation. The Hythe brand represents luxury, relocation, move-up and move-down clients, and first-timers. They also specialize in VA home loans and work with military members, veterans and their families.

Nelson began her career in real estate in 1999 and was a top producer for Century 21 Master-San Marino before becoming a broker associate, mentor ambassador, and top producer for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage/CB Realty until 2020.

“We’re experts in our field that facilitate information as quickly as possible so that our clients can make the right decisions,” Nelson says. “We’re very excited about what we’ve built as a women-owned company, and we’re very loyal to each other, our brand and our clients.”

King was previously voted Realtor of the Year for two years in a row and serves on several local nonprofit boards of directors focused on improving our neighborhoods and the community. Along with Nelson and the Hythe Realty team, she is dedicated to serving the community by giving back to organizations like the Pasadena Educational Foundation and the Pasadena Friendship Community Development Corporation.

“We love what we do and look forward to new upcoming opportunities in real estate,” King says. “As the market adjusts to the changing economic climate, there are still great opportunities both for buyers and sellers.”

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer wondering if now is the right time to jump into the market or you’re contemplating the idea of selling your home, Nelson and King have taken the time to answer some of the top questions about real estate.

How has the real estate market changed?

The market we’re coming out of was very unique, and we knew that it couldn’t be sustained. We’re returning to a more normal market. Fortunately, sellers in California are still able to benefit from a huge rate of appreciation. The more motivated sellers are considering price adjustments for a faster sale. We’re seeing things switch from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. Previously, there was more competition with homes receiving multiple offers and properties being bought as is. Properties that people thought would sell quickly are not going as fast. Buyers are being more thoughtful, and there’s more of an opportunity for them to get more credits during negotiations. Now buyers are more empowered and are able to have greater confidence in the property they’re purchasing.

Is now a good time to buy or sell a home?

Rental rates have skyrocketed in the area, and being a homeowner offers enormous tax deductions and benefits not available to renters. In California, homeowners have the unique opportunity to add Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). This is where you can divide a single-family residence into multiple living spaces. You can live in one while renting out the others or provide housing for extended family to help pay the mortgage.

We’re seeing a more level playing field between buyers and sellers. If someone wants or needs to buy a home, they should do it. If someone wants or needs to sell, it’s definitely the right time to capture that equity gained over the last five to 10 years.

What sets the California real estate market apart from the rest?

The No. 1 draw is location. Who wouldn’t want to live in Southern California if they could have the weather and beautiful terrain that we do? We are an experience-driven community with close proximity and easy access to beaches, mountains, lakes and deserts. The Pasadena area also is home to some of the best academic and entertainment institutions in the country. We have the ability to take the quality of our lives to a different level here. Real estate prices may be higher, but the home values tend to maintain and don’t adjust like other areas across the country. The Southern California market as a whole is extremely blessed.

Why is it important to work with a good real estate agent, and what advantages does Hythe Realty offer clients? 

It’s very important that people choose an experienced professional to represent them. You need someone that you resonate with who has the ability to negotiate for you with your best interests in mind. This is a relationship business. At Hythe, we have relationships with our clients, other agents, lenders and service providers so in the end our clients have a powerhouse of professionals behind them. When we’re doing a transaction, our Buyer’s Advantage package puts our clients at the top of any competitive list.

With interest rates right now, there is more of a challenge with underwriters. At Hythe Realty, we’re here to educate our clients and work through all of the challenges together. We’re real estate all-stars and have been through these housing market cycles before, so we’re not afraid. We know how to navigate in order to achieve the desired end results and make our clients’ dreams come true. It’s our goal that all parties are protected, represented and walk away happy. Just enjoy the journey and trust the professionals that are taking you through the process — it’s what we do and love. 

Do you have any tips for buyers and sellers?

Today, smart homes, energy-efficient upgrades, water-wise landscaping and sustainable upgrades will be getting lots of attention. These are easy fixes that homeowners can manage and will offer great returns. Also, with our inside designer and home stager we are prepared to help with home preparation to set your home at the top of any competition. Get rid of the clutter, handle the things that need to be taken care of, and do your best to make your house the way it was back when you bought it. Yes, we also offer sellers who want a quick sale “sell as-is,” and the Hythe team will buy your home and close very quickly so you can make your move today.

Buyers should make sure their credit and finances are in order and have their pre-approval letters from several lenders ready to go. Find an agent that you have a good relationship with who understands what your main criteria are. Remember that it’s a journey and nothing happens overnight. It’s about being excited — the right home will eventually be yours.

Vera Nelson

Founder | Broker 

CAL DRE No. 01333471

626-298-3025, vera@hytherealty.com

Barbara Richardson King

Founding Partner | Global Estate Director

CAL DRE No. 00903286

626-319-0315, properties@barbara-king.com