Pasadena city hall: why it’s one of my happy places

Pasadena, Pasadena City Hall, blue dress, mermaid dress, cocktail dress, ruched fabric, ruches dress, see through heels, strappy heels, Lucy Paris, California, fashion blogger, fashion, outfit of the day, lookbook, look of the day, style diary, think positive

I find serenity in my surroundings—whether that’s the setting, the sounds, the people—what I’m clothed in. That’s why Pasadena City Hall was the ultimate sanctuary for me a couple weekends ago.

Surely, it’s no plot twist that my sister in style, Mari Makatsaria accompanied me on this venture. The marvel of columns crowned with a burnt orange dome was brought to life by John Bakewell and Arthur brown almost a century ago. According to the Pasadena city website, it was the work of Italian Renaissance, Andrea Palladio that inspired their aesthetic. It’s an archaic gem in the midst of modern California. It’s a forward thinker with a vintage soul’s promised land. 

You see, I grew up on fairytales. I’m convinced that God inspires man to fashion architecture with so much character, spirit and magic to remind us all that eventually grow up not to lose wonder for the world. Why is it that adults allow the doom and gloom of the universe to cast out our faith in humankind, in a higher power looking out for us? As I’ve continued the path of my twenties and begun to stand on my own two feet—whether they be functional flats or trendy see-through stilettos….I’ve found myself balance the tight rope between the young girl who is the best kind of optimist: a dreamer and the cynic that the discouraging and sometime despairing obstacles tempt me to be. But I’ve vowed to never be that cynic. I recently read Nikita Gill’s Fierce Fairytales (shout out to my friend, Taylor for the rec), and resonated with two passages: “but the universe never promised you this would be easy. After all, you are the hero here,” and “you are half fairytale, half girl.” Let this be a reminder for you as well, dear reader. We are all the heroes of our own story, aren’t we? Thus, if the two passages work in tandem, then I manifest here and now that the story will end well. The in between will be a pattern of highs and lows, but if it wasn’t so, the tale would be a snoozer.

So, I’m contented to step through the nave with Grecian statues above my head, wearing a bewitching blue dress equal parts mermaid and Cinderella, a modern take on glass slippers to match. In our snazzy shoes Mari and I make our way up the stairs to the tower where you can see the manicured city of Pasadena stretch out before you, the white buildings as it does so appearing like teeth in its smile. The city seems to say, “you are welcome to seek solace here.” The whimsical tune of Nat King Cole’s “Stardust” echoes through my mind as the sun cast its rose-gold light onto the historic buildings. And whenever I face my dragons, I will conjure up this castle in my mind and trust God’s plan.

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

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