Pasadena, 2017

While I mostly reside in East Los Angeles area, my higher education brought me close to Pasadena; a city that truly holds history, charm, and plenty of old money. I tie this to Wordsworth’s London because it is a city that is starting to get out of control with all of the luxury condos being built and expensive shops like Tiffany and Co., and Tesla, and Apple. Despite the city being a suburb northeast of downtown Los Angeles, homelessness holds a strong foot at many of the lavish retailers that line Colorado Boulevard. Home to Cal Tech, the Norton Simon museum, Neighboring city to NASA JPL, the famous Rose Parade, and the Rose Bowl where the UCLA Bruins play and famous people like Beyoncé perform, are some of the many attractions Pasadena boasts. To me, I have always felt like an outsider when I first would step foot in the city because I commuted in from the rougher Los Angeles area, El Sereno.  To us, it is seen as the close Oasis, and the first real city with white people that drive expensive cars. With that, I express a poem which I free write as I feel it more accurately captures what I felt: overwhelmed, intimidated, inferior, exposed, opportunity, foreign.


Delightful roses blooming and growing

A record-breaking crowd, flowers they’re throwing

A city dazzling, camera ready, and made to impress

The husband wears a suit, and the wife wears a dress

Not a single dispute with their teen kids that memorable day

because after all, it’s the famous Rose Parade

A day has passed– with smiles and laughs…

now it’s up to someone to clean up this trash

filth is picked up by city workers with tans

The homeless fight one another off for the bottles and cans

Understand, it’s ok because these people have no significance

It sounds ridiculous, but it’s ok because our record sales are killing it


-Daniel Estrada



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