Fraser Alley isn't a creepy, wouldn't-want-to-meet-'em-in-an-alley kind of place. It's clean, safe and walkable. That doesn't make it cheesy. I love the backsides of Old Town Pasadena. You can still see the old signs painted on some of the buildings. Some people call it touristy, but I think it's charming.
Old Town was once a dive, from what I've read. By the late 1940s, after World War II, it had become "skid row." Businesses moved out, nobody cared, and by the 1970s it was wrecking ball time. Almost.
But the fact that nobody cared about this part of town served to preserve the buildings intact. A bunch of smart people decided to revitalize old Pasadena and by the 1990s the plan was in full swing. Now we have a vital downtown with gorgeous preserved architecture. Old Town Pasadena is unique. Boutiques, restaurants and even chain stores occupy beautiful old buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Guess I should take some photos of the fronts of them, huh?