One couple commands the hardwood dance floor, strutting under colored lights and glass chandeliers as well-wishers cheer them on from iron-wrought balcony railings, or wander across the foyer’s marble floors on their way to the intricately carved dark-wood bar. The Sofia ballroom, one of the many venues at Noor, host the reception hall’s memory-making parties, which range from weddings to performances by Pasadena Symphony pianists. The hall’s attentive staffers also oversee gatherings beneath the Ella ballroom’s crystal chandeliers or on the terrace patio, where a circle of white curtains and climbing ivy surrounds a starburst-shaped mosaic-tile fountain that gurgles compliments to passing glasses of champagne.
A resident culinary crew feeds the hall’s hungry revelers with Mediterranean-Californian fusion dishes. Noor's chefs devise many of their tapas-style dishes in the reservation-only Ella restaurant, and frequently feature seasonal, locally grown ingredients. Eclectic seating varies throughout Noor's rooms, from lounge sofas and armchairs to high-backed formal dinner chairs, blending modern and vintage aesthetics more smoothly than photos of Benjamin Franklin wearing a Members Only jacket.
Before guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen marks her historic Pasadena Symphony debut with a program that features Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, Grammy award-winning violinist James Ehnes showers the crowd with pulled and stuttered notes in a virtuosic performance of Korngold’s Violin Concerto. Having performed in more than 30 countries and appeared with some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, Ehnes tugs sonic rainbows from his stringed companion in a solo work that earned him Grammy, Juno, and Western Canadian Music awards. Captive audiences seated in Section B will have precious little time to slingshot their rose bouquets onto the stage before Mei-Ann Chen claims her place as the first woman to conduct the Pasadena Symphony’s assemblage of gifted musicians from the motion-picture industry.
In 1989, a pair of bakers founded the Three Dog Bakery with nothing but a $.59 biscuit cutter and three canine taste-testers. For decades, these humans have committed themselves to creating savory treats for pets with all-natural ingredients and a slow-baked process that locks in flavors and nutrients that dogs crave. Good Morning America profiled the shop in 2011 in a piece about gourmet pet treats, highlighting their personalized cakes made without butter, salt, or artificial colorings of any kind to fit in a healthy pet's diet. The selection includes playful baked goods ranging from snickerpoodle cookies to frosted pupcakes, as well as items they could chew on for days, such as plush toys, elk antlers, and new essays by Malcolm Gladwell. Customers can find healthy eats and helpful accessories at Three Dog's two locations in Pasadena and inside Los Angeles' World Famous Farmer's Market.
Formerly known as the Analog Cucumber, Digital Pickle specializes in transforming predigital memories into high-def formats that are compatible with modern media. Digital Pickle's VHS-to-DVD video-transfer services save old home videos before their aging ribbons begin to disintegrate or reveal that Ringo Starr is dead when played backward (prices start at $20 to create a DVD of up to two hours). Using state-of-the-art equipment, Digital Pickle's skilled technicians will synchronize frames, stabilize images, and reduce white noise in the original video, returning it to you in its completed form for enhanced reminiscing. In addition to video preservation and conversion, Digital Pickle also provides photo-digitalization (starting at $0.39/photo) and audio-transfer services (starting at $25/tape), which relocate yesteryear's portraits and ballads into modern-day PCs.
The instructors of French Kiss Fitness model their group classes after the acts of performers such as Pink, the pop star who thrilled audiences at the 2010 Grammys with a dance routine derived from circus acrobatics. Like a dark room plastered with Lou Ferrigno posters, the studio's workout style both develops and shows off muscle. Fourteen poles support physiques as they execute moves that build core strength; off the pole, students learn floor- or chair-based routines to replicate at home. Aerial classes build center strength with the help of silk ropes, dangling hoops, and a trapeze. For more traditional workouts, students can attend core-strengthening Pilates classes or yoga classes to relax the mind and body.