Arroyo Monthly March 2021

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March 2021 | Real Estate

Fine living in the greater Pasadena area

Success PAIRED FOR

REALTORS PETER MARTOCCHIO AND DAVID GOLDBERG PLACE CLIENTS IN THEIR DREAM HOMES

+ THE ARBOUR

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arroyo

VOLUME 17 | NUMBER 3 | MARCH 2021

LUXURY

COASTAL HOMES

14 06 PAIRED FOR SUCCESS

Realtors Peter Martocchio and David Goldberg help clients find their dream homes —By Kamala Kirk

12 KEEPING CUSTOMERS SAFE Post Alarm: Shields up since 1956 —By Arroyo Staff

Now Selling from $1.1 Million

14 ACHIEVING REAL ESTATE DREAMS Hythe Realty is a women-owned company that guarantees the best results for clients —By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

18 MAGNIFICENT MURALS

Artist Patricia Llovera’s beautiful designs are showcased throughout the community —By Kamala Kirk

Ideally located just a short walk from the beach in San Clemente,

24 TEA FOR TWO

panoramic ocean views, open-concept layouts, high-end finishes,

The Huntington to renovate historic garden tearoom —By Kamala Kirk

28 CHEF IAN GRESIK AND THE ARBOUR Fine dining mainstay remains relevant —By Frier McCollister

Ten10 Santiago offers seven unique residences, each featuring and outdoor living spaces. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity for authentic beach town living. 2 to 3 Bed | 2 to 3 Bath | 1,587 to 1,977 square feet

33 HOP ON BOARD

Poe the Passenger is driving toward notoriety —By Christina Fuoco-Karasinsk

34 FINDING A HOME

Jason Hardin shares his love of Pasadena with clothing line —By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

ten10santiago.com

36 BLOOMING SUCCESS

The Nuccio family is known for its rare camellias —By Christopher Nyerges

D EPARTMENTS

32 CULINARY CUPBOARD Springtime Berry Celebration

arroyo

fine living in the greater pasadena area

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Christina Fuoco -Karasinski ART DIRECTOR Stephanie Torres CONTRIBUTORS Olivia Dow, Emily Chavez, Kamala Kirk, Frier McCollister, Rohit Lakshman PHOTOGRAPHERS Luis Chavez ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Lisa Chase, Catherine Holloway, Michael Lamb OFFICE MANAGER Ann Turrietta

ON THE COVER: Peter Martocchio and David Goldberg Photo by Luis Chavez

TIMES MEDIA GROUP PRESIDENT Steve Strickbine V.P. OF OPERATIONS Michael Hiatt ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Zac Reynolds CONTACT US EDITORIAL christina@timespublications.com PHONE (626) 584-1500 FAX (626) 795-0149 MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1349, South Pasadena, CA 91031 ArroyoMonthly.com ©2021 Times Media Group All rights reserved.

Considering South Bay? Also consider One South! Only one luxury residence remains at One South: an intimate, coastal community in Redondo Beach, starting from the $700s. Visit liveonesouth.com to learn more.

1010 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672 | 949.813.1762 Please visit ten10santiago.com/disclaimers for all disclaimers.

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Success PAIRED FOR

REALTORS PETER MARTOCCHIO AND DAVID GOLDBERG HELP CLIENTS FIND THEIR DREAM HOMES BY KAMALA KIRK

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or almost 20 years, local Realtors Peter Martocchio and David Goldberg have been top producers for Sotheby’s International Realty in Pasadena, representing buyers and sellers for many luxury and historically significant properties throughout Los Angeles. Their extensive knowledge of the Southern California real estate market and its rich history, combined with their background and expertise in creative design and architecture, has earned them a reputation as trusted professionals who offer clients true local knowledge and insight on the luxury real estate market and trends. Growing up, Martocchio was a classical pianist and tap dancer. He worked at the La Jolla Playhouse while attending UCSD, eventually transferring to UCLA, where he graduated with a degree in theater arts. Several years after moving to LA, he opened a retail store in Silverlake that required a full renovation, and over the course of the project he discovered his passion for real estate. That ultimately led him to become a licensed agent in 2001. “I discovered how much I cherished the design/build aspect of the Silverlake adventure, but seeing as I didn’t own the property, I vowed never to embark on property improvements on any property that I didn’t own outright,” Martocchio says.

“That is what motivated me to get my real estate license. I later discovered that there is something entirely uncanny about the similarities of the theatrical cycle and the home-selling cycle. Each house is the set, the open houses are much like opening night, and the run of any listing always has theatrics. The concentrated duration of the process creates an instant family-type unit.” Goldberg’s family owned a construction supply business, so he was exposed to construction and architecture from day one. He has two degrees — a Bachelor of Arts in design/architecture and landscape architecture from UC Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Prior to obtaining his license and becoming an agent in 2004, Goldberg worked as a designer for home remodels and new construction. He often oversaw renovations, restorations and other general improvements on properties that Martocchio listed for sale or had sold to clients. “I started my career in real estate by building homes from the ground up and selling them,” Goldberg says. “I then started buying old character homes, renovating them and then selling them. As an agent, it has been a huge part of my success being able to show buyers the potential in a property that needs work. I also can oversee the things that need to be done to prepare a property for sale. My design background is an important part of my ability to make a property look amazing before sale.” Married for 23 years, Goldberg and Martocchio have worked together as a full-time real estate team for the last 17 years and formed House of Martocchio in 2017. While the majority of their business is in Pasadena and Altadena, they work in many areas of Los Angeles, including Silverlake, Highland Park and Eagle Rock. They have also sold properties in Bel-Air, Palm Desert, Claremont, Oxnard, Santa Barbara and Lake Arrowhead, among others. “Our dynamic as a team is great,” Martocchio says. “Because we live and work together, there is a natural rhythm and distribution of responsibilities. More often than not, David works with our buyers and is the field agent, while I handle the many nuances of our listings. In this new age of immediacy, that often means that I am close to my desk or portable electronic devices so that I can respond swiftly to any issues that come about.” Since the beginning of their careers, Goldberg and Martocchio have been involved with historic homes and landmarks. They have sold renowned properties by many famed architects, such as Greene and Greene; Rudolph Schindler; and Buff, Straub & Hensman. The Kresge/Richter Laboratory in the North San Rafael Hills was one of the most important historic properties for which they represented the purchase and ultimate resale. Goldberg worked as a principal designer with the owners and helped transform the property from a scientific/educational facility into a single-family home, receiving an award from the city of Pasadena and the state of California for his efforts on the project. “Understanding the history and relevance of these properties architecturally is an important part of properly representing these homes,” Goldberg says. “When preparing these homes for sale, it’s crucial that you respect the original architecture and character of the property while taking current trends and styles under consideration.” One of Martocchio’s first listings was the Hale Solar Laboratory in Pasadena on what was once a remote edge of Henry Huntington’s estate. The property is a National Historic Monument, bearing the highest classification of a protected property, and had been owned by the Carnegie Institute before falling into private hands. “There are many special considerations that must be taken when dealing with such properties,” Martocchio explains. “As the Mills Act took hold in Pasadena, I began working with many homeowners in the application process. Selling such homes also requires special knowledge and understanding of the maintenance contracts. There are pros and cons to the program, and I’m well-versed in explaining the nuances to homeowners, buyers, sellers, agents and the general public. Historic preservation isn’t something to be feared, and I try to explain potential restrictions in a matter-of-fact way.” Goldberg and Martocchio have been Pasadena residents for 27 years and live in a National Register Spanish home in the Prospect Park Historic District. They recently purchased a post-modernist property next door to their home and are in the process of transforming it into an industrial-influenced modern loft, with the intention of using it as a deluxe home office.

Photo by Luis Chavez

R E A L E S TAT E

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Photos by Luis Chavez

“I was attracted to the area for many reasons, the most important is the abundance of beautiful character homes and stunning neighborhoods,” Goldberg says. “I also love the smaller town feel here and the city’s history.” Martocchio, who had a secondary emphasis in writing in college, is putting the finishing touches on a novel he wrote that was inspired by his love for the Arroyo Seco. “When I came to Pasadena in 1997, it immediately felt like home,” Martocchio says. “There is a genetic reaction I have when passing the Eagle Rock on the 134 Freeway and having the grandeur of the Colorado Street Bridge welcome me into the central Arroyo with the mountains running as far as the eye can see — it never gets old. It’s like turning the page in an illustrated novel and finding a two-page color spread. It goes without saying that the houses, the trees, the cultural institutions and the diversity of the community make it an exceptional place to live and work.” One unique thing that sets Goldberg and Martocchio apart from others is the team of experts that they work with and bring in for various home projects for clients. “We have an entire crew of people, from architects to engineers, who we can tap into when a client wants to renovate or redesign their home,” Goldberg explains. “When we’re showing a buyer homes, we can show them the potential in a house, which opens up the possibilities. We make the experience much easier by taking control of all these things so that clients don’t have to worry about them. I love helping people fulfill their dreams when it comes to where they live.” Clients appreciate the personal approach and attention to detail that Goldberg and Martocchio provide throughout the entire process of buying or selling a home. They are excellent negotiators, are transparent from beginning to end and make it a policy not to do double-end deals. “We take considerable time making sure that our clients understand the process and the many situations that will come up that they need to be prepared for,” Goldberg says. “One aspect of real estate that is extremely important for an agent is their ability to understand their client’s needs and personalities. An agent has a huge responsibility to keep a transaction together by negotiating a fair deal for each party involved. My negotiating abilities can result in significant monetary gains for our sellers and fair deals for our buyers.” COVID-19 has impacted the real estate market, resulting in an increased homebuying demand, a lack of inventory, and home prices that have exceeded prepandemic levels. Martocchio and Goldberg recently represented a buyer and, out of 36 offers on a home, theirs was the one that was accepted. “Being successful listing agents gives us an advantage when competing with multiple offers, because we get to see the creative ways other agents work to represent their own clients, and we can take the best of their methods and apply them on behalf of our clients when confronted with multiple offers,” Martocchio says. The pandemic has also raised the industry standard and forced a higher degree of organization. Goldberg and Martocchio’s listings are designed to protect the health of anyone who steps foot onto one of their properties. “I think our clients know we are successful, capable and open-minded,” Martocchio says. “We try to make the process fun by infusing humor into our conversations. I believe that our clients know when hiring us that every decision we make is for their benefit. Our job is to adapt our services to each client — some clients don’t have computers; others don’t text. Some are out of the country entirely, so we may implement video calls to stay in touch. Our business occurs in an ever-changing landscape of technology and culture. We have to monitor the stock markets, the sociopolitical arena, new laws and regulations, mortgage rates, international politics and more. If we can speak to the specific needs of each client, then we start with a mutual understanding that builds a strong relationship.” Goldberg adds, “You can make a huge impact on someone’s life by finding them an exciting home to buy or helping them sell a home. I love helping people. Seeing someone happy because of my work with them means the world to me.” House of Martocchio David Goldberg: 626-644-6011 Peter Martocchio: 626-529-6880 houseofmartocchio.com 03.21 | ARROYO | 7

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SPONSORED CONTENT

CITY OF HOPE: A SAFE PLACE FOR CANCER CARE IN AN UNCERTAIN TIME DOCTORS HERE HELP WRITE THE TREATMENT PROTOCOLS USED BY OTHER HOSPITALS NATIONWIDE.

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BY SAMANTHA BONAR

he coronavirus pandemic has hampered care for other diseases, including cancer. An October 2020 survey by the American Cancer Society determined that nearly 1 in 3 people currently in treatment are experiencing delays in care. In addition, screenings are being put off. Cancer doesn’t go away on its own, so these delays risk worsening patient outcomes. In a challenging medical landscape, one institution — the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the San Gabriel Valley — presses on to continue treatment safely. The NCI designation means that City of Hope doctors help to develop the cancer care protocols that are used by oncologists all over the country. That’s just one of the factors that makes City of Hope Pasadena’s top choice for expert cancer care. And as the only hospital in the San Gabriel Valley whose main focus is cancer, there may be no safer place. It’s well-documented that the coronavirus is particularly dangerous for people with cancer. So patient safety is the bedrock for City of Hope’s efforts to deliver timely cancer care in the COVID-19 era. Today, surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow transplants, immunotherapy treatments, research and clinical trials continue on City of Hope’s main Duarte campus and at more than two dozen clinical network locations.

Safety First Fourth-grade public school teacher Vanessa Sandez of San Dimas learned she had breast cancer just as the coronavirus pandemic was taking off. After receiving an initial diagnosis elsewhere, on the advice of a friend she contacted City of Hope, asking specifically for Laura Kruper, M.D., M.S., chief of the Division of Breast Surgery. Imaging and a biopsy discovered what Sandez’s first group of doctors had not: cancer cells requiring a lumpectomy. After her surgery, Sandez wanted to understand why, at just 40, she was going through this. Genetic testing revealed that she possesses an anomaly called ataxiatelangiectasia, mutated. Women with ATM can run a four times higher risk of breast cancer. Sandez chose to undergo a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. The only remaining challenge was getting it done while guarding against COVID-19. Surgery was scheduled for May, and City of Hope’s strict safety protocols were in place. Masks. Temperature checks. COVID-19 tests before all procedures. All carefully designed to keep patients and staff safe while maintaining quality of care. The hardest part was the no visitor policy. But her City of Hope care team worked hard to keep Sandez’s spirits up and her husband Julio in the loop. “City of Hope took every precaution to make sure I was 100% safe,” she said. “I was never scared because of COVID-19.” Sandez’s experience is being replicated across City of Hope, which has experienced only a handful of coronavirus cases, none of which were

Vanessa Sandez underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction in May at City of Hope, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. “City of Hope took every precaution to make sure I was 100% safe,” she said.

Monica Arevalos, an ambulatory care assistant at City of Hope, prepares to screen patients for coronavirus. Patient safety is the bedrock for City of Hope’s efforts to deliver timely cancer care in the COVID-19 era.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, City of Hope continues its campus expansion to serve the people of the San Gabriel Valley and beyond. Pictured here is the recently completed Medical and Administrative Leadership Pavilion.

hospital-transmitted (patients who test positive are isolated in a remote area). Cancer treatment has continued uninterrupted, with multiple safety and security enhancements added, making it possibly one of the safest places for a cancer patient to be in the San Gabriel Valley. For more information about City of Hope, please go to CityofHope.org.

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© 2021 City of Hope

At City of Hope, you never have to be far from the ones you love to receive world-class cancer care. Delivering leading-edge treatments to your community is at the heart of everything we do, and with 30 locations in our clinical network, unparalleled care is always close by. Weʼre dedicated to bringing you lifesaving therapies, so you can dedicate your time to the people who make life worth living. Find a location at CityofHope.org/NearYou

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FILE NAME BILL TO JOB# DESCRIPTION CLIENT LAST MODIFIED

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CITY OF WHAT MATTERS MOST


SPONSORED CONTENT

Keeping CUSTOMERS SAFE POST ALARM: SHIELDS UP SINCE 1956 BY ARROYO STAFF

Rob and Gina Post own Post Alarm.

Photo courtesy of Post Alarm

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or more than 60 years, Post Alarm has been helping to keep its customers safe with a unique combination of technological innovation, practical experience and personal care. Post’s customizable security solutions are designed to meet customers’ needs now, and can grow alongside your changing family or business needs. Customers can rely on Post’s locally based team to stay vigilant so they can relax and enjoy their homes. Unlike many other security firms, the owner and operators of the company live and work in their communities. They have always been a local, family-owned company, and Post Alarm was founded on a passion for protecting the communities the staff calls home. It is that passion that makes Post the best in the business. Post Alarm is one of the nation’s few security companies with the distinction of owning and operating its own UL Listed Monitoring Station. In addition to that elite certification, Post has been honored with 5 Diamond Accreditation. This puts Post Alarm in the top 5% of alarm companies in the nation. The superior setup of Post’s central station enables Post to have superior response time to most of its competitors. “While our central station and technology is best in class, Post’s real superpower is our people,” says owner Rob Post. “We invest in extensive training for our security team, as well as every other team member that serves our customers. Our team truly cares about delivering their very best. When something goes wrong, you can rely on us to be there as soon as possible with the help you need, when you need it.” Post’s home security solutions put families’ safety first, but convenience is a close second. With fully customizable options that include motion detectors, cameras and smart home integrations, security systems can give clients peace of mind. This starts with traditional burglar alarms and extends to cameras with ID recognition. Post’s smart home integrations allow customers to remotely lock and unlock doors from a phone, turn lights off or on, adjust the thermostat, and of course see cameras from a smartphone. Customization options extend beyond traditional solutions — and even innovative services like Night Shield, protection for loved ones with Medical Alert, and traditional patrol services. Night Shield allows clients to set up their own preferences so that if an intruder steps foot onto a property at night, Central Station is notified. Post Patrol is automatically dispatched to the home so everyone can rest easy at night. The Medical Alert service can even help protect loved ones from a distance, allowing for private response with just the touch of a button. There are more services to explore — and Post can help customers find the perfect security solutions for their needs. Post’s local patrol arrives quickly on the scene whenever help is needed. Experience the peace of mind that Post’s locally based, award-winning, innovative protection can bring to a home and life. Give Post a call for a no-cost consultation.

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ACO 1843

Shield what you love.

Post Alarm secures your home and the things you love. As a local, family-run business, we are committed to protecting our community here in Southern California. When you sign up with Post Alarm, you’re shielded by our lightning fast response time, award-winning patrol, automated security, and a longtime family promise to keep you safe. We will develop fully customized security solutions that are tailored to your home, and meet your needs. Including everything from smart home integrations, best in class cameras with identification software, perimeter control options, and patrol surveillance.

PostAlarm.com

Give us a call to learn more. (800) 645-7678 03.21 ARROYO | 13

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R E A L E S TAT E

REAL ESTATE DREAMS

HYTHE REALTY IS A WOMEN-OWNED COMPANY THAT GUARANTEES THE BEST RESULTS FOR CLIENTS BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

The team Hythe Realty’s team consists of highly motivated and technical professionals, trustworthy real estate agents that will help guide clients during the home search. King and Nelson have trained all team members so that they are well versed in Hythe’s mission of service first.

Barbara Richardson King and Vera Nelson

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Photo by Luis Chavez

Achieving

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easoned broker Vera Nelson and Realtor Barbara Richardson King put their clients first with their brokerage Hythe Realty Inc, stripping the process of corporate or financial priorities. Clients and agents are drawn to the women-owned company because of their commitment to outstanding service and to the community. “We really wanted to do something that totally focuses on the client,” Nelson says. “Whatever their needs, whatever the scenario, we are there for them during the entire journey. It’s not a cookie-cutter solution, and it’s not transactional for us. King adds, “Our leadership focuses on a high level of ethics and integrity. We are passionate about what we do and about helping people achieve their real estate dreams and their goals.” Longtime partners in the business and Pasadena natives, the two women realize the launch of Hythe Realty in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic was ambitious, but more importantly it was a spiritual journey. “We felt it was the perfect time to get the message to clients that we understand the essence of their journey in good times and in challenging times,” Nelson says. The name Hythe Realty is eye-opening. The term “hythe” means small port, safe haven and/or soft landing. In other words, it is somewhere clients can hang their hat. Hythe Realty primarily serves Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley, although they cover all of Southern California as well. “If that’s where you’re going to find the home, that’s where we’re going to go,” Nelson says. Nelson is a 20-year veteran of the real estate industry and living proof of the B.A.M. effect: broker, adviser and mentor. She began her real estate journey in 1999 and eventually became a top producer for Century 21 Master-San Marino, which she was affiliated with until 2010. She then became a broker associate, mentor ambassador and a top producer for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage/CB Realty from 2010 to 2020. Being in the top 2% of her chosen field is not by chance for Nelson. She knows how to set the agenda to lead the negotiations. “You don’t only represent your client,” Nelson says. “You have to have a relationship with the buyer’s agent or the seller’s agent. It’s a whole relationship-building journey from the beginning to the end. King, a veteran Realtor in town, was voted “Realtor of the Year” two years in a row, which represents her commitment to excellence and service to her clients. As a native Pasadenan, her knowledge of the area is unparalleled. In addition, King serves on several locally based community and nonprofit boards of directors, representing her commitment to improving and strengthening neighborhoods and the community.

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A home that exceeds expectations deserves a mortgage to match

We’ve got a mortgage to fit your needs. Call us today. Michelle Alvarado Home Lending Officer 626-622-2308 michelle.alvarado@citi.com citi.com/michellealvarado NMLS# 726593

• Mortgage discounts with Relationship Pricing1 • Dedicated support every step of the way • Jumbo loan sizes up to $3 million; loan sizes sizes up to $8 million available to well-qualified buyers who meet Citi’s High Net Worth2 requirements

Louise Wei Home Lending Officer 626-678-5525 louise.wei@citi.com citi.com/louisewei NMLS# 730175

Terms, conditions and fees for accounts, programs, products and services are subject to change. This is not a commitment to lend. All loans are subject to credit and property approval. Certain restrictions may apply on all programs. Offer cannot be combined with any other mortgage offer. This offer contains information about U.S. domestic financial services provided by Citibank, N.A. and is intended for use domestically in the U.S. 1

A Citibank deposit account and automated monthly transfers of the mortgage payment from a Citibank personal deposit account using automated drafting will be required to receive Citibank mortgage relationship pricing. Ask a mortgage representative for details on eligible balances and the qualifying closing cost credit or rate discount. Availability of the Citibank mortgage relationship pricing for Citibank account holders is subject to change without notice.

2

Available for clients with a minimum of $500,000 or more in investable post-close assets, and at least $50,000 in traditional assets must be on deposit with Citi at least 10 days prior to closing. This amount may be part of the $500,000 eligibility requirement. Real estate, loan proceeds, stock options, restricted stock and personal property will not be counted as part of the $500,000 or more investable post-close assets or the $50,000 in traditional assets. Net cash value of life insurance can be counted as part of the $500,000 but not part of the traditional assets. Investable assets are defined as deposit accounts (checking, savings, money market, Certificates of Deposit), unrestricted stocks, non-vested stock and restricted stock, bonds and retirement accounts held by the individual who is personally liable on the loan. These asset types held in revocable trust may be used provided the trust document meets the Trust Policy. 100% of the face value of all assets, except non-vested stock and restricted stock, may be used to calculate the amount of funds available to meet the eligibility criteria. For non-vested stock and restricted stock, the borrower must be 100% vested within 1 year of closing and a maximum of 70% of value may be used to calculate qualifying equity. Additional conditions apply. ©2020 Citibank, N.A. NMLS# 412915. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. Citi, Citi and Arc Design and other marks used herein are service marks of Citigroup Inc. or its affiliates, used and registered throughout the world.

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The luxury market In a historic year for luxury real estate, California saw its all-time price record shattered. More than 200 homes traded hands for more than $10 million, and two sold for more than $100 million. In the long-ago days of 2019, the $10-million-plus market fell well short of 200 deals. Every home, whether 800 or 8,000 square feet, is a castle. In the end, it’s all about presentation. “Everything is so grand sometimes with real estate and sales,” Nelson says. “To genuinely have each person’s harbor, their port, their safe haven is a pleasure. We’re going to help them do what they need to do in their lives to navigate their next chapter or make it easier for them. It’s more than a modern luxury market. It’s not just about giving statistics. It’s the ‘extra’ things, like a concierge service.” King and Nelson also have extensive experience with VA home loans and frequently work with members of the military, veterans and their families. “It’s not about the commission and the money,” Nelson says. “It’s about the passion for what we do to really find the right haven for people, or the right spot. Everyone has their place, and we’ll go find it. We have a deep respect for our military members and veteran community. Now it’s time for us to serve them.”

Photos by Luis Chavez

As technology continues to direct the path forward, Hythe Realty has several team members that provide the highest level of technology to help buyers find the perfect home quickly and to expose sellers’ listings to the broadest possible qualified buyer pool, resulting in the best price and terms. Their in-house designer/Realtor, Wanda San Juan, has worked with renowned interior designer, author and television personality Nate Berkus, who is also Oprah’s designer. San Juan got her start in real estate by staging properties and buying and selling homes. “Hythe Realty stages homes because, after all, a showing is comparable to a first date,” San Juan says. Nelson adds, “It’s nice when clients walk in and you see the looks of amazement and pleasure on their faces. They can’t believe it. Then when their home sells for top dollar, we’re right there with them. It’s not just to close, it goes beyond that. Now our relocation experts move in to find new housing in nearby or distant locations. We also have an incredible resource list of professionals that provide a myriad of needed services.”

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A first impression A testament to their success, Hythe Realty has received many positive reviews from satisfied clients, praising them on their experience, vast market knowledge, positive and friendly attitude, ability to navigate challenging negotiations, and more. “If you are looking for high standards, exceptional expertise, genuine care and someone who fights for you, then Hythe Realty is the only name you need to know,” says Kianna Dorman, an active-duty Air Force member. “All thanks to them, I’m proud to say I’m a first-time home buyer.” Hythe Realty also gives back to the community, specifically organizations like Black Girls Code, Surfrider Foundation USA and the Pasadena Educational Foundation. The movement isn’t something Nelson and King brag about. Often, they keep the donations to themselves. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a joy in it. “It’s not just a real estate company,” Nelson says. “It’s not an organization — we’re alive, we’re fluid, we’re moving.” King adds, “I definitely agree. I think a ‘business’ is something that focuses on the bottom line of the client. I take every situation and we build a custom package for each situation. We listen, we care and we perform!” “Hythe has solutions for every unique situation, and for every client, ‘We can give more,’” Nelson shares. “We can protect more. We can grow more. I think that’s the essence of Hythe Realty. We have that personal touch. It’s that connection with people.”

Photos by Luis Chavez

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 03.21 | ARROYO | 17

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F E AT U R E

Murals MAGNIFICENT

ARTIST PATRICIA LLOVERA’S BEAUTIFUL DESIGNS ARE SHOWCASED THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY BY KAMALA KIRK

Patricia Llovera is a Pasadena artist who participates in chalk festivals, designs murals for businesses and cities, and refurbishes utility boxes.

Untitled acrylic on canvas painting by Patricia Llovera

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Photos by Luis Chavez

P

atricia Llovera started drawing when she was 12 years old, around the time her mother passed away. She hung out in her room on a beanbag chair drawing pictures from the dictionary while listening to classical music. Her favorite was Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” Throughout her teenage years, Llovera continued to draw and dabbled in calligraphy, but when she landed an office job after graduation, her artistic endeavors were put on the shelf. Fifteen years later, when she was laid off, Llovera rediscovered her talent for the arts and began taking courses in writing and art at Pasadena City College and the Otis College of Art and Design. Llovera studied multiple topics, including illustration, life drawing, composition, as well as writing, illustrating and designing children’s books. She became fascinated with geometric work, and one of her professors at Otis College once compared Llovera’s style to that of Frank Stella and early Piet Mondrian. “I discovered that writing and drawing made me feel good about myself, and I really appreciated the discipline that I had,” Llovera says. Llovera began attending Wine & Canvas painting classes in Pasadena, where her artistic skills shined. On a whim, she participated in the Pasadena Chalk Festival in 2010 and honed her chalk skills. “I thought I could do chalk art, too, so I went to see what would happen,” Llovera shares. “My first year was a really cool year for the Pasadena Chalk Festival because they were named the Largest Display of Chalk Pavement Art by the Guinness Book of World Records. I love doing the chalk festival. It’s not always about winning. I do love to win, but I’m not tremendously competitive. I participate because it’s fun and creating makes me feel good.” Since them, Llovera has participated in over 20 chalk festivals, including the Carlsbad ArtSplash, Monrovia Chalk Festivals and the Chalk Art Festival in Centennial, Colorado. In 2015, Llovera and a fellow artist formed a two-person mural team, designing and creating murals for cities, schools, restaurants and private residents, in addition to creating custom designs on windows for businesses. During the five years they worked together, Llovera helped create murals throughout the San Gabriel Valley and in Wilmington, and her various artwork has been displayed at libraries in Bellflower, Pasadena and Monrovia. “Murals are often complicated, detailed and require a lot of prep time,” Llovera says. “You have to clean and prep surfaces before starting the design, and paint acts differently on different surfaces. I often use a waterbased latex paint, which is safe to use around schools. I’m very safety conscious and like to keep a neat and clean workspace.” Llovera is also a member of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts and developed a talent for refurbishing utility boxes for the city of Monrovia, where she was eventually awarded with two boxes of her own to paint with her designs, along with another utility box in South El Monte. “A lot of cities will put out an artist call to paint utility boxes, then you can send in your artwork to be considered,” Llovera explains. “Sometimes there will be a theme for the utility box. I lean toward geometric designs because they’re balanced and uniform. I love working with bright, eye-catching colors.”

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Llovera now works on her own and continues to provide mural and artwork services for clients. She also enjoys painting canvases for friends and family and designing hand-painted cards for different occasions. Since COVID-19 occurred, the chalk festivals and competitions have gone virtual, so Llovera has been creating designs on her driveway or on canvas and submitting them online. Aside from chalk art, she also enjoys working with acrylics, watercolor, pencil, charcoal, and pen and ink. “I love the drive that I get from art, and it makes one more disciplined,” Llovera says. “It’s cool being an artist, because I can use anything as a tool. Nothing is going to be perfect all the time, and you learn from your mistakes — there’s always an opportunity to improve. I’m always up for commissions, and I’m constantly looking for competitions to enter. It gives me an excuse to create, and it keeps me in practice. If I don’t win a competition this time, there will always be others.” For the past five years, Llovera has been a full-time, live-in caretaker in Pasadena for her 100-year-old grandmother. “We have a lot of fun together,” Llovera says. “It’s definitely challenging being an artist and a full-time caregiver at the same time, but I’ve learned that if I want to get more things done, I have to take advantage of the time I have. So, if she’s taking a nap, I’ll use that time for working on projects or creating stencil letters for a client. It’s all about finding a balance between time and responsibility.” Llovera is also eager to pursue a career as a writer and illustrator of children’s books. Five years ago, she finished a book for young readers on how to execute chalk designs, addressing technique, art supplies and safety issues, as well as the joys of working as an artist in the public workspace. She is in the process of updating the book and plans to resubmit it to publishers. “I want to write more books for children that have good morals and lessons in them,” Llovera says. “I also want to continue my journey as an artist. Picasso said that it took him a lifetime to paint like a child. There is beauty in children’s artwork; we seem to forget that as we grow up. If you want to draw a tangled mess of lines and weird colors, go for it. Draw what makes you happy; other people may end up liking it as well. Art is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s always important to follow your heart.” To see more of Llovera’s work and to contact her for commissions, follow her on Instagram @patricia_llovera_.

M A RIA

Photo by Luis Chavez

continued from page 18

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DINING

Tea FOR TWO THE HUNTINGTON TO RENOVATE HISTORIC GARDEN TEAROOM BY KAMALA KIRK

A

fter decades of serving guests in its Rose Garden Tea Room, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens will renovate and expand it. Since the initial conversion of the building into a tearoom, there have been many alterations to the building over time, particularly to the kitchen areas. This is the first major rehabilitation. “The idea started with a (pre-pandemic) assessment of both the building on the outside and the building and the kitchen on the inside,” says Randy Shulman, The Huntington’s vice president for advancement and external relations. “The architectural details and overall condition of the original tearoom have been in decline for many years and need work. Over the past six years, we have worked to stabilize the exterior architectural details as much as possible, but we knew that over the long term it had to be worked on.”

Photo courtesy Architectural Resource Group

continued on page 26

An elevation drawing shows the Herb Room, in the west side of the building, which will also be renovated and made available for private rentals, in addition to being used for the tearoom’s general service. 24 | ARROYO | 03.21

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Photo by Lisa Blackburn. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

The front entrance of The Rose Garden Tea Room will be restored. continued from page 24

The $7.5 million project went into municipal review in January 2021, and The Huntington expects it to be completed in 2022. Developed by The Huntington with Architectural Resources Group (ARG), the project will restore the front of the original building, in addition to a new outdoor dining experience and improved functionality in service areas. “The COVID-19 seating and service considerations helped to inspire the idea of an elegant but exterior fully ventilated structure in the garden for dining,” Shulman says. “After the renovation is completed, the restaurant will be able to function with people seated more than 6 feet apart. Therefore, it would be a safer place for people to enjoy a meal as we emerge from the pandemic.” The Rose Garden Tea Room’s food provider, Bon Appetit, also found the kitchen was inadequate for providing the level of service that it wanted to offer. The project will modernize the kitchen, upgrade the indoor dining space, develop new restrooms and ancillary areas, and create a pavilion on the building’s eastern side that opens onto the Shakespeare Garden for exterior dining service. “The pavilion will be able to seat approximately 44 in COVID-spaced seating, approximately 68 in normally spaced seating,” adds Steve Farneth, the project architect for The Huntington’s Rose Garden Tea Room renovation and founding partner of ARG. “Overall, including interior and exterior seating, the new facility will seat approximately the same number as it does currently.” The project plans to renovate the room on the west side of the building that opens to the Herb Garden. In addition to being used for the tearoom’s general service, it will be made available for private rentals. “On the west side of the building, we will replace an existing wood frame dining room with a slightly larger but much more open space overlooking the Herb Garden,” Farneth says. “Rolling doors along the south, west and north walls will open the room to the Herb Garden.” The renovation comes on the heels of The Huntington’s Centennial Celebration, which kicked off September 2019 and features a yearlong series of exhibitions, public programs and new initiatives. The tearoom is part of The Huntington’s historic core and will connect the building to the surrounding gardens’ visual and physical elements, making for a unique tea experience. “The tearoom has been closed to the public since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Shulman says. “However, when the tearoom reopens, we will be offering a high tea table service like we have in the past, including a vegan and gluten-free high tea, and expanding the add-on section of fresh salads, soups, cheese plates and charcuterie boards.” For more information, visit huntington.org. 26 | ARROYO | 03.21

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DINING

CHEF IAN GRESIK AND

The Arbour FINE DINING MAINSTAY REMAINS RELEVANT

The Arbour owner and chef Ian Gresik holds a signature dish, black pepper crusted chicken breast.

Mediterranean sea bass, polenta cake, roasted fennel, baby bok choy, celery root puree and lemon foam is $35 at The Arbour. 28 | ARROYO | 03.21

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he Arbour represented chef Ian Gresik’s fine dining debut in Pasadena when it opened in 2017. In the three short ensuing years, which included a pandemic lockdown, Gresik’s quiet mastery in the kitchen has managed to garner a loyal cadre of enthusiasts, who have proven to be critical in sustaining the operation through the precarious course of the pandemic. “About 80% of our to-go orders are repeat guests, (people who come) once a week,” Gresik says. “It’s pretty impressive. Our clientele, who come weekly or more, give us their support.” This fact was verified by two local gourmands — Laura Bulgarelli and Keith Rouse — who brought up the topic of The Arbour quite randomly in a recent conversation. “It is beyond divine,” Bulgarelli says. She describes Gresik’s take on risotto, showered with in-season truffle shavings. Though truffles are now out of season and the abbreviated pandemic menu doesn’t include the labor-intensive risotto, the couple had more to say about Gresik’s work at The Arbour. Rouse is a Pasadena-based lawyer and a former restaurateur who once owned and operated the Madeline Garden on Green Street. “I like the fact that it’s farm-to-table fresh. It’s high quality. The chef clearly knows what he’s doing,” Rouse says. A South Bay native who grew up in Torrance and Redondo Beach, Gresik initially trained at Cerritos College for baking and pastry. “I’m a formally trained bakery and pastry chef,” Gresik says. “That’s how I broke into the field. I was down in San Diego working at a few places and then I decided to go back to the Cordon Bleu.” That was Gresik’s introduction to Pasadena, where he attended the vaunted and now-shuttered culinary academy for a second round of training in 2000. After graduating, he lived in Pasadena for a time and “bounced around” until 2015, when he, his wife Nancy and family returned to the City of Roses. The move sparked inspiration. “We thought (Pasadena) needed another restaurant, and we thought our style of food would play well here,” he says. Their instinct proved to be correct. That style of food is based on fresh, organic ingredients. “The culinary inspiration behind The Arbour is just utilizing the bounty of California,” Gresik emphasized. “From the local produce to the meat purveyors, I would say 90% of our product is organic.” Pre-pandemic, Gresik routinely engaged with 20 to 30 local farms, most based in Ventura County. “Now it’s about a dozen,” he says wistfully. Before the pandemic, he helped sustain farmers. “Now they take care of us.” Jeff Stein of Scarborough Farms in Oxnard, for example, provides lettuces and herbs. “He runs a great program there,” Gresik says. The Arbour’s fresh meat is sourced from West Coast Meats and a broker in Newport Beach to stick with his mantra of sourcing local. “If we want lamb, we use California rack of lamb,” he says, for example. That commitment to fresh, locally sourced ingredients is combined with Gresik’s refined palate and technical mastery to produce the menu at The Arbour. His evolution as a chef began after his tour at the Cordon Bleu, with the help of an influential mentor. “I spent seven years with Joachim Splichal of the Patina Group at the original Patina on Melrose and then at the Walt Disney Concert Hall,” he says.

Photo courtesy of The Arbour

T

BY FRIER MCCOLLISTER

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Arroyo market watch Existing Single Family REsidential Home Sales PASADEN­A — 71 LA CAÑADA — 18 ARCADIA — 32 ALTADENA — 26

% CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR PASADENA +31.5%

-14.3% ARCADIA +3.2% ALTADENA +8.3%

LA CAÑADA

Active listings

PASADEN­A — 70

% CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR -36.4%

LA CAÑADA — 28

% CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR -34.9%

ARCADIA — 123

% CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR -5.4%

ALTADENA — 16

% CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR -51.5%

EXISTING HOME SALES MEDIA PRICE

PASADEÑ­A — $1.20m % CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR +7.6%

MEDIAN DAYS ON MARKET

PASADENA — 19 LA CAÑADA — 30 ARCADIA — 30 ALTADENA — 18

LA CANADA — $1.78m % CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR +1.7%

ARCADIA — $1.32m % CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR +6.0%

ALTADENA — $1.16m % CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR +39.4%

December 2020 SALES DATA FROM THE CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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Black pepper crusted chicken breast with fingerling potatoes, green beans and onion cream is a staple at The Arbour.

Shortly after the onset of the pandemic lockdown, the now-legendary chef and restaurateur Splichal sold the Patina portfolio. “He’s pretty much retired,” Gresik adds. “He sold the group. He’s focusing more on his wineries. He’s got the Domaine de Cala, a winery in Provence. We have two of his labels on our wine list. He had a great run.” Gresik left Patina to helm Downtown’s lauded Drago Centro as executive chef for five years. There is another Pasadena connection here. The upscale Italian restaurant is owned by chef Celestino Drago, whose brother owns the popular local trattoria Celestino’s, just four blocks north of The Arbour on Lake Avenue. “So, arguably, I worked with the best French chef and the best Italian chef in town,” Gresik says. After settling in Pasadena and surveying the fine dining landscape, the Gresiks found the storefront on South Lake in The Arbour building, which prompted the restaurant’s name. “We went ahead and built out a restaurant,” Gresik says. “We’re in the old building that used to be Express Clothing. We did a full build-out. It was 11 months from start to finish.” The time and effort paid off. The dining room exudes a calm, casual elegance, and the expansive open kitchen seems, predictably, a chef’s dream come true. “I already knew what I wanted,” Gresik says. He engaged architect and designer Chris Keith and his firm, Spacecraft, because of Keith’s willingness to collaborate directly with Gresik’s vision. “He was one of the only people who wanted to work with my design.” The lovely result speaks for itself. Although the now-empty dining room serves to stage takeout and delivery orders, Gresik has managed to create a lovely, 16-guest outdoor dining space on his relatively quiet strip of South Lake. Although the restaurant also boasts a generously expansive parking lot behind the venue, Gresik hasn’t yet been able to activate it for outdoor dining. “We’re an independent restaurant that is nimble enough to make it,” says Gresik, who winnowed his staff from 50 to seven when he pivoted to takeout. “We rolled with all the punches. Our strategy has been defense. We’d rather have a smaller footprint and be safe. (And) still be relevant and still serve our guests quality food.” So far so good. Now about that food. Perusing the current menu, which has been slightly abbreviated during the pandemic, Gresik points to popular favorites. For starters, the bacon tart ($13) baked in puff pastry with onion and served with béchamel sauce, Parmesan and wild greens is a standout. Perhaps a bit more on the farm-to-table theme is the shaved Brussels sprout salad ($14) with fresh goat cheese and toasted pine nuts tossed in a white wine vinaigrette. There’s also a classic Caesar ($13) and a beet salad with baby lacinato kale and golden raisins with a lemon vinaigrette and “hazelnut dust” ($13) on the menu. Popular entrees include the sophisticated comfort of bucatini in vodka sauce ($25) with ground pancetta, tomato cream and Parmesan. There’s also sea bass with polenta cake, roasted fennel, baby bok choy, celery root puree and lemon foam ($35).

Photo courtesy of The Arbour

continued from page 28

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One of Gresik’s signature dishes is the duo of duck ($38), which features roasted duck breast with a leg confit served with peppercorn sauce, parsnip puree, baby turnips and spinach. There are also weekly specials. Recently, it was roasted rack of lamb with spiced couscous, fresh peppers, chickpeas, green onions and salsa verde ($49). The specials include custom cocktails to go, which, Gresik adds, has helped. Lead bartender Nick Christianson doubles as a waiter. Gresik is also quick to credit Mathew Haro, his chef de cuisine. “He deserves a lot of kudos for being flexible,” Gresik says. “I give him a lot of credit. We’ve been working together for 10 years. You see the true colors of people in a crisis. “We were lucky enough to get the PPP loans for the first and second rounds. That’s been a huge relief. But it doesn’t guarantee our livelihood or success, if you look at how it works. It’s eight weeks. But I will say, I’m very pleased with the city of Pasadena. The new mayor, Victor Gordo, he’s behind business.” Gresik never shut down The Arbour, realizing he needed to cater to the attention of his loyal following. Otherwise, “there’s no guarantee they’ll come back,” Gresik asserts. Accordingly, The Arbour serves dinner seven nights a week. “The whole thing for us is to stay relevant.” Guests can preorder online for takeout or delivery, and reservations are likely recommended for outdoor seating on-site. That said, these days it might just be the chef greeting and seating, as Gresik’s focus has shifted to front of house. “I’ve been a chef for over 20 years,” he says. “It’s my first time being a waiter.” Finally, as a grateful gesture to his loyal patrons and a sweet, exclusive gift to Arroyo readers, Gresik was persuaded to divulge The Arbour’s recipe for chocolate mousse. THE ARBOUR 527 S. Lake Avenue, Pasadena 626-396-4925, thearbourpasadena.com

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THE ARBOUR’S CHOCOLATE MOUSSE INGREDIENTS 1/2 CUP BUTTERMILK 2 1/2 CUPS SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE (VALRHONA 66%

CACAO, PREFERRED) 1/2 CUP BROWN SUGAR 4 CUPS HEAVY CREAM

Photo courtesy of The Arbour

METHOD 1. PLACE CHOCOLATE IN A LARGE METAL BOWL. 2. IN A SMALL SAUCEPAN, WARM THE BUTTERMILK AND BROWN SUGAR OVER MEDIUM HEAT TO A LIGHT SIMMER. 3. POUR WARMED MILK AND SUGAR MIXTURE OVER THE CHOCOLATE. 4. WITH A SPATULA, MIX UNTIL CHOCOLATE IS COMPLETELY MELTED. 5. WHISK THE HEAVY CREAM UNTIL IT RENDERS SOFT PEAKS FROM THE WHISK. 6. FOLD THE WHIPPED CREAM INTO THE CHOCOLATE MIXTURE. 7. POUR INTO RING MOLDS OR RAMEKINS AND REFRIGERATE FOR 30 MINUTES. 8. REMOVE FROM MOLDS, PLATE AND GARNISH. 03.21 | ARROYO | 31

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CULINARY CUPBOARD

Springtime BERRY CELEBRATION

A

BY EMILY CHAVEZ

s winter comes to a close, celebrate the longer days of sunshine with this raspberry lemon cake that showcases a balance of sweet creaminess from the meringue-based buttercream frosting with tart flavors from raspberry and lemon echoed throughout. The cake and the frosting are light and fluffy for a refreshing, not heavy, dessert at the end of a weekend brunch or any meal. The naturally sharp flavors from bright raspberries and sunny lemons gently cut through any lingering sugary notes for a treat that leaves a smile on your face right after a pucker. A final nod to spring comes with the addition of fresh mint leaves to cleanse your palate and pastel-colored edible flowers for a delicate floral touch. RASPBERRY LEMON CAKE YIELD: 12 SERVINGS | ACTIVE TIME: 45 MINUTES TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR, 45 MINUTES

CAKE INGREDIENTS 3 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR 1 TABLESPOON BAKING POWDER 1/2 TEASPOON BAKING SODA 1/2 TEASPOON SALT 2 TABLESPOONS LEMON ZEST 3/4 CUP WHOLE MILK

1/4 CUP LEMON JUICE 1 CUP UNSALTED BUTTER, ROOM TEMPERATURE 2 CUPS SUGAR 4 EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE 2 TEASPOONS VANILLA EXTRACT

12 OUNCES FRESH RASPBERRIES 1 1/2 CUPS AND 1 TABLESPOON SUGAR 1 TABLESPOON LEMON JUICE

6 EGG WHITES 1 1/2 CUPS UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED AND CUBED 1 TEASPOON VANILLA EXTRACT

TOPPINGS 6 OUNCES RASPBERRIES 6 OUNCES BLACKBERRIES MINT LEAVES

EDIBLE FLOWERS (ROSEMARY BLOSSOMS PICTURED)

INSTRUCTIONS 1. TO MAKE THE CAKE, PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES. PREPARE THREE 8-INCH-ROUND CAKE PANS BY BUTTERING AND FLOURING AND LINING WITH PARCHMENT PAPER CIRCLES. 2. WHISK TOGETHER FLOUR, BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA, SALT AND LEMON ZEST IN ONE BOWL. 3. IN A SEPARATE BOWL, STIR TOGETHER MILK AND 1/4 CUP LEMON JUICE AND SET ASIDE. 4. BEAT 1 CUP BUTTER AND 2 CUPS SUGAR WITH AN ELECTRIC PADDLE MIXER ON MEDIUM-HIGH SPEED UNTIL FLUFFY. ABOUT 3 MINUTES. 5. REDUCE MIXER SPEED TO LOW AND ADD THE FOUR WHOLE EGGS, ONE AT A TIME AND MIXING WELL AFTER EACH ADDITION. 6. ADD VANILLA EXTRACT AND CONTINUE MIXING. 7. ALTERNATE ADDING THE FLOUR MIXTURE AND MILK IN THIS ORDER: FLOUR, MILK, FLOUR, MILK, FLOUR UNTIL JUST INCORPORATED. 8. SCRAPE THE MIXER BOWL AND THEN DIVIDE BATTER EVENLY BETWEEN THE CAKE PANS. 9. BAKE FOR 25 TO 27 MINUTES. CHECK TO SEE IF IT’S DONE BY INSERTING A TOOTHPICK INTO THE CENTER.

10. LET COOL IN PANS FOR 5 TO 10 MINUTES. THEN TURN OUT ONTO A WIRE RACK TO COMPLETELY COOL. 11. TO MAKE THE FROSTING, COMBINE 12 OUNCES OF RASPBERRIES, 1 TABLESPOON OF SUGAR, AND 1 TABLESPOON OF LEMON JUICE IN A PAN OVER MEDIUM HEAT. 12. COOK FOR 10 TO 15 MINUTES UNTIL BERRIES ARE SOFT. 13. PRESS THE MIXTURE THROUGH A FINE MESH STRAINER INTO A CLEAN BOWL. 14. RETURN THE NOW SEEDLESS MIXTURE BACK INTO THE PAN AND COOK ON MEDIUM HEAT. STIR CONTINUALLY UNTIL THE MIXTURE IS REDUCED TO ABOUT 3 TABLESPOONS. ABOUT 10 MINUTES. 15. POUR INTO A SMALL BOWL AND SET ASIDE TO COOL COMPLETELY. 16. WHISK TOGETHER THE 6 EGG WHITES AND 1 1/2 CUPS SUGAR IN A GLASS BOWL. 17. CREATE A DOUBLE BOILER BY PLACING THAT GLASS BOWL OVER A PAN OF SIMMERING WATER. CONTINUE WHISKING UNTIL THE EGG MIXTURE IS 160 DEGREES. 18. TRANSFER EGG MIXTURE OFF HEAT AND USE AN ELECTRIC MIXER’S WHISK TO BEAT IT ON HIGH SPEED FOR 8 TO 10 MINUTES UNTIL FLUFFY, GLOSSY, AND STIFF PEAKS HOLD. 19. SWITCH TO THE PADDLE ATTACHMENT AND SLOWLY MIX IN THE CUBED BUTTER. THEN ADD 1 TEASPOON VANILLA EXTRACT AND WHIP UNTIL SILKY. ABOUT 3 TO 5 MINUTES. 20. ADD THE 3 TABLESPOONS OF THE RASPBERRY REDUCTION AND WHIP AGAIN UNTIL COMPLETELY SMOOTH. 21. TO ASSEMBLE, LAYER EACH CAKE ROUND WITH ABOUT 1 CUP OF RASPBERRY FROSTING IN BETWEEN. THEN CRUMB COAT AND FROST THE CAKE WITH THE REMAINING FROSTING. 22. DECORATE THE TOP WITH RASPBERRIES, BLACKBERRIES, MINT LEAVES AND EDIBLE FLOWERS AND DRIZZLE WITH REMAINING RASPBERRY REDUCTION.

Photo by Luis Chavez

FROSTING INGREDIENTS

32 | ARROYO | 03.21

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A R T S & C U LT U R E

Poe the Passenger — Trent Marderosian, Jeff Pridgen and Matt Rosenblum — reached No. 1 on KROQ’s “Locals Only” show with the song “Follow Me.”

Board HOP ON

Photo courtesy Poe the Passenger

POE THE PASSENGER IS DRIVING TOWARD NOTORIETY

W

BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

hen the Pasadena alternative rock trio Poe the Passenger performs, there’s one thing the musicians want to come across: They’re authentic. “The mantra in our band is live your life loving yourself first and spread love to others when you can,” says Jeff Pridgen, the vocalist and guitarist. “You never know what they’re going through. This is more than music. This is family.” Recently, Poe the Passenger’s “family” pushed the band’s song “Follow Me” to the top of KROQ’s “Locals Only” show, which features bands out of

Los Angeles and Southern California. “It was a dream of ours,” Pridgen says. “We’re still on their rotation. Now we get to meet people via social media who are from Brazil, France, Russia and Pakistan, as well as local music supporters.” “Follow Me” is an ode to a handful of Poe the Passenger’s fans. It tackles the pain of being bipolar. “It’s not something any of us deal with,” Pridgen says. “I’ve researched and read about it. We have fans who have told us that they have it. It’s a tough subject for them, so we decided to shed a little bit of light on it. “That’s where this ebb and flow comes from in that song. Sometimes people feel up and some feel down.” Former Pasadena City College students Pridgen, Trent Marderosian and Matt Rosenblum assembled Poe the Passenger in 2017. Although they attended PCC at the same time, they didn’t connect for a few years later. Since forming, Poe the Passenger clocked well over 100 live shows pre-pandemic, gaining a diverse following of fans from all around the world. Born in the Chicago area, Pridgen moved to Pasadena in 2011. He was into film before he co-founded Poe the Passenger. “I was doing a lot more film production and working behind the scenes,” he says. “I dabbled in a bit of acting, too. I had always played music in Chicago.” He switched to music because he says he believed he didn’t have control over the outcome of his career. With music, he can create these “little, short stories” with songs and put all of his effort into it. “I get way more out of this than acting,” Pridgen says. “It’s not the case for everybody, but that’s how I feel.” Inspired by Green Day, early Maroon 5 and Rise Against, Pridgen was performing acoustically when he ran into his now-drummer Marderosian. “I always wanted to reform a band, but I didn’t think about that when I moved to LA,” he says. “Trent listens to progressive music. He grew up on Thrice and Circa Survive, which had some fame in the early 2000s. “Matt loves groove. He’s big on Muse, Tool and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. When we’re writing something, sometimes we have disagreements. We are able to meet somewhere in the middle. We come up with really cool stuff.” Among the cool stuff is the single “Heart Strings,” which was scheduled to be released on February 19. Pridgen calls it a “hometown nostalgia type of song.” “I wrote the lyrics from the perspective of being away from my family,” he says. “My family is 1,600 miles away, but every day I feel their love. “I wanted it to feel like I’m taking the people I met here in LA back home to see my brother, my mom and my goddaughter, and bask in that hometown nostalgia.” Poe the Passenger is planning to release an album later this year but wants to release it with authenticity and sustainability in mind. When the trio are not recording, they do community service by helping out at recycling functions or working with the homeless in Pasadena. “We’re trying to find something we can do to promote the community and promote sustainability,” he says. “We want to be able to reach people around the world as well as locally. We keep it super honest. We come from a perspective of self-growth or inner growth.” Although a livestream is in the future, Poe the Passenger is looking forward to performing live once again. “There’s something intangible about it,” he says. “This energy that you feel from people and they’re watching you and singing our songs is amazing. It’s the soundtrack of their night. “That feeling is so incredible. To not have that for almost a year has been really tough on us. Thankfully, we can still communicate with our fans through social media. We miss our fans dearly.” 03.21 | ARROYO | 33

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BUSINESS

Home

FINDING A

JASON HARDIN SHARES HIS LOVE OF PASADENA WITH CLOTHING LINE

J

BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

Jason Hardin, above, founded the Made in Dena clothing line.

Photo courtesy of The Arbour

ason Hardin attended 19 elementary schools as he hopped from relative to relative, trying to find a stable home. “My parents were unstable,” he says. “My father had trouble with the law.” As a high school freshman in 1995, Hardin moved from the Bay Area to Van Nuys. However, he attended Pasadena High School. “Pasadena was the first place I never wanted to leave,” Hardin says. To show his love for Pasadena and Altadena, he created the Made in Dena clothing line. “I feel Pasadena isn’t presented on the mainstream media past the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl,” Hardin says. “There is so much more to it. I always loved the businesses here.

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“Outside of the political division and borders, Pasadena and Altadena have always been one community for those who grew up here. It was my way of trying to shine light on the community and pay homage to the things I tend to love in Pasadena.” Thanks to his years at PHS, 1995 to 1998, Pasadena was the first place he had a steady group of friends. “It was the longest time I went to one school,” he says. “I never stayed anywhere long enough.” He rode the bus for 2 1/2 hours from Van Nuys to Pasadena High School every day. The time was worth it. “When I moved to Van Nuys, (his guardian) says I could go to PHS if I could figure out how to get there,” he recalls. “I called the bus lines and found out how to get to PHS. I would take the bus every day, to and fro — even during football season. I didn’t have any time off. I just love the people here, the togetherness and the community.” After high school, he briefly attended Pasadena City College, where he had access to a computer. “That’s what got me involved in doing business services and graphic arts for folks,” he says. “I struggled with finding myself and exploring what I was good at. My father passed when I was 19. My mother was still living in San Jose. I was here kind of lost. “I was homeless right out of high school. I was sleeping on the bus for a few months. I rode the 24-hour bus until school started at PCC and then I could go to my friend’s house and change.” After college, he started the short-lived magazine The Dena Magazine to help promote the community as well as his friends involved in the arts and business. “I wanted an affordable, if not free, way to promote my friends,” says Hardin, an avid golfer. “With all that love, I wanted to create something. I did it all myself. I wrote all the stories, sold all the advertising, did the artwork and took the photos. “It was very, very tiring and overwhelming at points. I became so busy I couldn’t work on that product.” An independent business consultant, Hardin plans to use Made in Dena with his youth-mentoring projects. He says he believes anyone can create or will themselves into their dream job. “I don’t care how qualified you are,” he says. “If you create that dream job, you have that job. No one can deny you if you do that. I invite youth to help me. Even if you don’t like T-shirts, you can learn about finance, artwork and marketing.” Hardin hopes to inspire others. He was lost, but he found his way, thanks to Pasadena. “I never thought Made in Dena would resonate with so many folks and cross so many borders,” Hardin says. “Pasadena is a very diverse place. I still have an attachment to the city. “People send me photos of them wearing Made in Dena clothing outside of Pasadena or Altadena. I was just amazed to see how proud people are of Pasadena — just like me.” For more information, visit huntington.org. Made in Dena Clothing madeindena.com 03.21 | ARROYO | 35

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HISTORY

Success BLOOMING

Tom Nuccio, right, shows his tea plants, camellia sinensis.

THE NUCCIO FAMILY IS KNOWN FOR ITS RARE CAMELLIAS

he Nuccio family of Altadena has developed a nationwide reputation for its rare camellias and azaleas. Camellias are available in about 600 varieties, about 100 of which the family has developed itself at Nuccio’s Nurseries. “The Nuccios are the finest of the old-school horticulturalists,” says Frank McDonough, botanist with the LA County Arboretum in Arcadia. “I took a field trip to the nursery, and Tom Nuccio was very generous with his time, showing us the fine details of how to graft camellias.” Tim Thibault, of the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, says Nuccio’s Nurseries is the preeminent camellia nursery in North America. Naturalist Larry Shaffer, a former Altadena resident, says, “Nuccio’s Nurseries has the most beautiful camellias I’ve ever seen.” The family got to this point after two generations of devoting themselves to the propagation of the camellia. Why the camellia? Tom Nuccio, who operates the 6-acre nursery with this brother, says it’s because the plant is “the whole package.” “The camellia is a good-looking plant, even when it’s not flowering,” he says. “It’s evergreen and doesn’t require that much care. The flowers are almost a bonus.” One of the camellias sold at Nuccio’s is the real tea plant, camellia sinensis, the caffeinated tea that is served in most of the world’s Asian restaurants. “This is the very same tea plant that is cultivated and fermented and sold in tea bags the world over,” Nuccio says. “It comes primarily from two varieties of camellia sinensis — variety sinensis and variety assamica.” The tea plant, which sells for $14, is just one of the Nuccio’s 600 or so camellias. “We propagate our tea plants by rooting the tender outer stems of the older plants,” Nuccio says. The cuttings are then kept in the nearby Quonset hut greenhouse until they are large enough to sell. Pointing at the row of five large greenhouse Quonset huts, Nuccio says with a smile, “These were built by my father and uncle over 50 years ago, and they still serve us well.” “Of course, you could make tea with any camellia leaf, but the flavor and the aroma are likely to be very different from tree to tree, and they won’t all have the same caffeine content.” He adds the camellia sinensis has been cultivated for so many hundreds of years that it’s the choice today of all tea growers. Nuccio says brewing camellia sinensis isn’t as easy as just picking the leaves. He gives customers who purchase the tea plant a printed description on how to make green tea. The teas — referred to as white, yellow, green oolong, dark or black tea — are made from either of the two varieties of camellia sinensis, but the leaves are processed differently to have various levels of oxidation. Twig tea, or kukicha, is also made from camellia sinensis, but the stems and the twigs are used, not the leaves. In the case of green tea, the tender young growth is picked, and the leaves and shoots are allowed to wilt in the shade for a few hours. These are then rolled between the hands until the leaves darken and become bruised, but not broken into pieces. The leaves are allowed to ferment by placing thin layers of the leaves on a tray in a shady location. After two to three days, the leaves are dried in a 250-degree oven for 20 minutes.

A view inside the Quonset hut/greenhouse, where the cuttings are rooted. Then, the tea is ready to use. Though camellia plants are easy to grow in the greater San Gabriel Valley, success depends on the local microclimate. “Nuccio’s Nurseries is legendary for its array of camellias and azaleas,” says Dr. James Bauml, former senior biologist at the LA County Arboretum. “I know they have released a number of their own selections over the years, and they also sell the tea plant, camellia sinensis.” Bauml says he believes the camellia sinensis can generally be grown over a fairly wide range. He’s observed it growing outdoors in Eugene, Oregon. According to Altadena arborist John Lynch, “Nuccio’s nursery is a great place, well organized, with very knowledgeable people. I hope that they never sell the property to developers to build houses there.”

Photos by Helen Nyerges

T

BY CHRISTOPHER NYERGES

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In our last article, we described the 5 reasons that you should never top your tree. Not only can the practice be damaging to the tree, and expensive in the long run. But what are we to do if it is necessary to reduce the size of a tree? Most arborists agree that Crown Reduction is preferred to topping. Compared to topping, reduction helps maintain the form and structural integrity of trees. To recap, Crown Reduction is the selective, strategic removal of branches, all the way back to healthy growing lateral branches. This practice aims to develop a new central stem leader at the top of the tree. To help empower you in this process, we’ve cut through the clutter to find the top five basics of Crown Reduction. The 5 Basics of Crown Reduction 1. Use the “Drop Crotch Pruning Technique” - selectively pick branches, and cut back to a lateral branch or trunk, which looks like a junction of two legs, or the crotch. Never leave large stubs behind. 2. Never cut off more than 20% of the tree. If it’s necessary to prune more than 20%, either because of damage or dangerous conditions, trim the tree in increments. 20% now, then a healing period, and you can finish the job at a later date- Usually about a year later, if you can.

3. Develop a new central leader at the top of the tree. The new central leader should be the tallest, straightest, healthiest stem in line with the rest of the trunk. 4. When reducing a leader branch, cut back to a lateral branch that is large enough to assume dominance. A lateral branch that is 30% of the size of the original parent branch will be your ideal candidate. Any larger than the 30%, and you run the risk of producing multiple, weaker shoots, that do not follow the intended pruning direction- Any smaller, and the branch may not be strong enough. 5. As a general rule, when reducing the size of the tree, one should try to thin out the longer branches while keeping the crown of the tree balanced. Mature trees are a valuable resource that are not easily replaced. Careful, well thought-out pruning may cost a little more in the short run, but is well worth the effort in long term health, aesthetics, safety and future costs associated with the tree. If you are hiring a tree professional to do the job for you, be sure they are familiar with the above techniques. If you are trimming the tree yourself, be careful, and educate yourself on the most important pruning basics.

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