Before moving to Switzerland, designer Ini Archibong grew up in suburban Pasadena, California. "One of the biggest influences was being able to be out in its peaceful streets,"he says. "It hasn’t changed that much since I left ten years ago." With a studio in Neuchâtel, the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry, the designer enjoys a bucolic setting while still having access to major urban centers. The setup reminds him of home—Pasadena, he says, isn’t all that different.
Pasadena & Los Angeles Area
Where to Eat and Sleep: The first thing Ini does when back in Pasadena is get tacos at La Estrella. He might also grab a breakfast burritos at Lucky Boy. While the Langham Hotel is the best spot to stay overnight, restaurants like The Royce and The Raymond come highly recommended for evening meals. Farther flung in the wider Los Angeles area, Silverlake bar Short Stop is one of the designer’s main haunts.
What to See and Do: With its gardens and serene exhibits, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino provides Ini with pure relaxation. Galleries like Giant Robot in Downtown Los Angeles and Friedman Benda’s new outpost in West Hollywood serve as spontaneous sources of inspiration. For music and those rare Stevie Wonder concerts, he frequents the Hollywood Bowl and Echo Park’s Echoplex. In Pasadena proper, Ini enjoys visiting old instructors at his alma mater Art Center College and stopping by Vroman’s Bookstore.
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