BEST PLACE TO FIND SOME TIME
Hing Wa Lee Jewelers
1635 S Del Mar Ave, San Gabriel
Everybody can use a little more time. At Hing Wa Lee Jewelers, you will find a true wealth of quality watches to help you keep track of the time you do have. Since 1993, this luxury retailer has been providing a high-end shopping experience. In 2013, with the opening of the San Gabriel flagship store, Hing Wa Lee created a retail space as luxurious as the brands it carries. An official Rolex dealer since 1993, Hing Wa Lee now represents all major luxury timepiece brands, from Chopard to Tag Heuer to Tissot.
BEST PLACE TO DEPRIVE YOURSELF
74 N. Hudson Ave., Pasadena
Just Float is not your father’s isolation tank. It’s a state-of-the art sensory deprivation experience provided by North America’s largest such facility. Each private “float suite” contains a dressing area, shower and floatation tank holding 1,300 pounds of Epsom salt dissolved in 250 gallons of 95-degree water (the same temperature as the surface of your skin). Shut the door, turn out the light, lie back and relax. No matter your size, the salty conditions (far saltier than seawater) ensure that everyone floats effortlessly. With brain-scan studies proving repeated floating helps the brain enter the theta wave state produced by deep meditation, consider Just Float a shortcut to a monk’s serenity.
BEST PLACE TO GET LOST IN A BOOK
695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Vroman’s is proof that an independent bookstore can survive—and thrive— even in today’s digital-centric society. In addition to shelves and shelves of books, the store also offers a variety of activities, including book clubs for kids and adults, art exhibits and events such as Democracy Wise, a nonpartisan speaker series which aims to educate participants on our democratic system, community and country.
BEST SCREEN TO ENJOY A NEW MOVIE
AMC Santa Anita
400 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia
This theater has a new Dolby screen that will blow you away. The powerful image enhances any film with astonishing brightness and vibrant colors, and the superb sound fully envelops the audience. And then, there are the comfy adjustable recliners. Now, you’re ready for big screen entertainment.
BEST OLD-BOOK SMELL
1252 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena
That slightly dusty, dry, crisp smell you only find in old books. You know you love it, and Book Alley on Colorado has more than 50,000 titles just wafting with the stuff. But the best part is, you can buy some books and take that essence home with you. With tomes as cheap as $2.50, you have no reason not to buy that Brontë or Steinbeck classic you’ve been meaning to read—or reread—for so long. You’ll also find used records and art prints for sale.
1401 S Oak Knoll Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106
Luxury is amplified at the renowned Chuan Spa at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, an “oasis of tranquility” where guests can indulge in treatments based on the ancient traditions of the Far East. The spa’s service menu offers an ample selection of pampering opportunities, from hair and nail services to massage, scrubs and body treatments. There’s also an entire section dedicated to facial treatments created to soothe, soften, plump and refresh skin. While any of the spa’s 10-plus specialty facials offer a memorable and relaxing experience, the ultra-luxe Champagne facial promises “a polished, healthy and radiant complexion,” thanks to NuFace micro-current technology, which gives skin a tightened and youthful appearance. The spa also offers a 60-minute maintenance facial, designed with the modern man in mind.
BEST PLACE TO BUY A POUND OF TURMERIC
270 N. Hill Ave., Pasadena
This combination Indian market and restaurant is a fairly new addition to town, but it has really taken off. In half the shop, they sling pretty cheap plates of really tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes; the other half sells South Asian goodies (spices, cheeses, veggies), so you can make your own.
BEST SUGAR HIGH
20 Hugus Alley, Pasadena
Known for its arsenal of artisanal candy, this chic boutique is filled with delicious, gourmet sweets that are just as beautiful to look at as they are to taste. After a third date to the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” Sugarfina founders Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick wondered why children should have all the fun. Thanks to the Hugus Alley candy land, now Pasadenans of all ages can enjoy a sweet treat.
BEST ONE-OF-A-KIND SHOPPING
34 Union St., Pasadena
Looking for a unique piece of sculpture or jewelry to show off or gift? Gold Bug is the ultimate luxe boutique offering fab finds for the discerning shopper, items you’ve never seen before. It’s the perfect place to find a unique gift for the person in your life who has everything, or for a conversation piece to decorate your home.
BEST WAY TO STAY IN (HIPSTER) STYLE
26 Smith Alley, Pasadena
Hawking coveted brands like Mansur Gavriel, Rachel Comey, Dries Van Noten and APC, Mohawk General’s Pasadena outpost puts a premium on quality clothing and accessories that will last a lifetime without going out of style. Mohawk carefully curates all its apparel, offering an eclectic mix of hard-to-come-by labels for men and women, as well as a selection of unique artisan products and one-of-a-kind vintage treasures culled from around the world, such as hi-fi turntables, furniture and apothecary items.
BEST WAY TO STAY FRESH
17 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Ideal for gifting or pampering, Lather’s collection of soaps and scents are perfect for an in-home spa day. Made without synthetic perfumes or artificial ingredients, Lather’s products have become synonymous with wellness and holistic, natural skin and hair care solutions.
MOST CREATIVE NAIL ART
Olive & June
146 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena,
This ultra-trendy and IG-friendly spot elevates the manicure salon experience, giving women personalized attention and luxury service at an approachable price. For a classic mani, opt for “The June,” or go all out with “The Alice,” a relaxing luxe service with rejuvenating indulgences including paraffin, a detoxifying foot bath, extra callus remover and 15-minute massage.
HIGH-END, HIGHSTYLE SUSTAINABLE FURNISHINGS
474 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena
“Where casual sophistication meets sustainability.” This boutique chain is known for its high-end, high-style sustainable furniture, lighting, bedding and home decor, ideal for anyone seeking unique designs and top-quality products. In addition to its line of furnishings and home accessories, the company offers free design consulting as well as assistance with creating custom furniture to suit every client’s individual needs and style.
BEST PLACE TO HAGGLE
Pasadena City College Flea Market
1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Whatever it is you’re looking for, you’ll find it at the PCC Flea Market, with a negotiable price tag attached. On the first Sunday of the month, more than 400 vendors set up shop across the campus parking lots to sell antique furniture, vintage comic books, clothing from every era and vinyl records from every genre. We don’t have room here to list everything that’s available at this treasure hunter’s paradise, you’ll just have to head over yourself and get to haggling. And remember, if you’re not shouting by the end of the deal, then you’ve left money on the table.
ANCHOR EXPANDABLE WIRE BANGLE
Alex and Ani
400 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia
Alex and Ani’s intricate bracelets, adorned with Swarovski crystals, incorporate ancient and powerful symbolism into modern design. A source of grounding and security for seafarers, the anchor is a powerful symbol of stability and hope. This bracelet serves as a reminder that when in doubt, grab hold of one of the anchors in your life—person or place—and trust that everything will be OK. $38
BEST PLACE TO GRAB A GIFT IN A HURRY
2 E. Holly St, Pasadena
This go-to gift boutique, run by Pasadena resident Jill Pearson, is chock-full of artisanal home goods, art and dainty jewelry. In the age of big-box retailers crowding Colorado Boulevard, Homage is a welcome haven tucked away on charming Holly Street, where independent shops and eateries abound. Homage’s eclectic mix of wares from local designers and emerging artists in the community are handpicked by Pearson, who has a well-trained eye for design. Work by local ceramist Joshua Nishimura was among the first lines Pearson featured in her shop, and her discovery has proved to be a decorating gold mine. From intricate beaded bracelets, sweet scented soaps and lotions to dainty necklaces and funky ceramics, it’s safe to say that Homage has the perfect present for anyone on your list, including (or perhaps, especially) yourself.
BEST PLACE TO FULFILL YOUR DESIGN FANTASIES
89 W. Dayton St., Pasadena
Originally a blog, Cozy•Stylish•Chic was born in 2013 out of a need for then fashion designer Jeanne Chung to chronicle her everyday musings about her true love, interior design. Having developed her sharp eye for color, composition and emerging trends as a student at Parsons School of Design and later the New York School of Design, in addition to 20 years in the garment business, Chung took what she learned and has been traveling the country in search of inspiration in new products and trends. Thanks to her stylish home furnishings storefront, Chung’s unique finds are now accessible to everyone.