Want to take a quick trip to Europe today, without leaving Pasadena? The merchants of the city’s Green Street Village are bringing a taste of Italy and France to town from noon to 5 p.m.
Nestled in the distinctively different neighborhood just east of South Lake Avenue between Mentor and Wilson Avenues, Green Street Village regularly hosts arts and culture events. This weekend’s “A European Afternoon” will show off French new wave films, fashion, gelato, premium wines and more.
“The flavor of the European Afternoon and what goes along with that fits in well with Green Street Village. It speaks to the District’s culture by emphasizing the arts and local experience that you may not find elsewhere in town,” said Carolyn Gray, owner of High Low Vintage in Green Street Village.
Gray said the architecture in the Landmark District is unique to Pasadena and perhaps directly inspired by French design — a perfect backdrop for taking in foreign delights.
“It represents how Pasadena evolved in the 1920s to more of a New Orleans French Quarter type of architecture,” Gray said, using the Cheesewright Building as an example.
Last year, a special mural made by 19th-century French master woodblock printer Jean Zuber was discovered adorning the two-story stairwell of one of East Green Street’s iconic New Orleans-style brick buildings. It may be worth a small fortune if confirmed to have been printed during the artist’s prime. Regardless, it is magnificent.
This weekend, attendees can enjoy premium wine tasting at Madeline Garden, inside the historic building that oozes French charm.
Other participating merchants are Walker/Viden Luxury Consignment, High Low Vintage, Century Books, and Gallery 30 South.
“We’re always trying to come up with a new concept to help tie together and give this part of Green Street some flair,” said Jennie Walker, co-owner of Walker/Viden Luxury Consignment.
Walker says she is fond of the idea of bringing a taste of Europe to the district and that many business owners in the area are in fact from European countries, including her business partner, Addy Viden, who hails from Sarajevo, Bosnia.
“This part is tucked away and it’s sort of far away from the tourist spots in Pasadena. What you have here is an opportunity to support small business and a local arts effort,”
So what’s on the menu? Each store will have an offering of wine and special events.
Gallery 30 South will feature the Ensoma exhibit, a new installation by Justine Esquivel-Petrov a texture-conscious safe space built to raise awareness for women’s healthcare.
Proceeds from the sale of her pieces will benefit the Grateful Garment Project.
Gallery 30 South will also screen the classic 1960 French new wave film, Breathless, by Jean-Luc Godard and 1961’s Lola by Jacques Demy, courtesy of an event sponsor, South Pasadena’s Videotheque.
The gallery will also feature a pop-up shop of rare Criterion DVDs to buy.
Walker/Viden Luxury Consignment is having a Vintage Moschino launch party with over 200 pieces from 1980s, 1990s and newer with portraits done by Fashion Illustrator Aasha Ramdeen with a $300 purchase.
Walker/Viden is also having a drawing to give away two vintage Moschino bracelets during the afternoon.
Two more sponsors, Century Books and TAP – Transatlantic Panorama, presents a photography exhibit opening with internationally recognized artist Avi Roth, “In the Shadow of a Giant, Paris mon amour.” Century Books will have travel books and literary gift packages featuring European cities from Paris to Rome.
High Low Vintage will be serving special treats and wine.
Madeline Garden will have a French and Italian wine selection.
Paradis Ice Cream from Old Town Pasadena will be providing ice cream and gelato samples at Madeline Garden’s patio on Green Street.
Another sponsor is La Petite Ecole Francaise, a local Pasadena based language school offering French classes all year round.
A European Afternoon in Green Street Village is Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., east of South Lake Avenue between Mentor and Wilson Avenues.