ArtNight Pasadena: Free, Fab, and Food-Trucky

The Crown City's cultural institutions go gratis for an evening.

Sometimes we picture groups of other cities sitting around coffee tables laden high with donuts (or whatever cities happen to eat). Heads are bent and voices are low and the emotion-filled topic is this: How can we be as cool as Pasadena?

Well, sorry, other cities, you can't have the Tournament of Roses, Vromann's, the Gamble House, or the Doo Dah Parade; those are distinctly taken. But you can try and emulate the Crown City in certain ways, particularly via the successful events it does best.

Far up there on that ladder is ArtNight Pasadena. It's the annual evening where several museums and cultural institutions -- and there are many 'round the city, so that's worth jotting down in your "cool city" notes -- go free. Yep. Admission is waived, some shuttles are set up to loop the area, and a whole mess of food trucks are phoned.

The next ArtNight Pasadena is just ahead -- Friday, March 8 -- and places like the Norton Simon (perhaps, other cities everywhere, you've seen this venerable landmark in the background of the Rose Parade) and the Armory Center for the Arts'll be in the middle of the hubbub. A bike tour, drumming performances, and more to-dos will festoon the night, nicely.

Hours are 6 to 10 p.m.

So, other cities, do you feel inspired? Just do all this, from the waiving of admission to your museums to the scheduling of shuttles to the inviting of food trucks, and you, too, can follow Pasadena's esteemed path of pure metropolitan mojo.

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