Maria Russo (pictured), who worked at the New York Observer under Peter Kaplan from 2002 to 2004 before moving west for a four-year stint with the LA Times Calendar section, has been at the helm of bi-monthly city magazine Pasadena since late March. Today, as part of a very ambitious new vision for the publication, she officially launched the revamped website pasadenarose.com.

“They loved my idea of broadening the magazine geographically and going for longer-form stories,” editor-in-chief Russo tells FishbowlNY via telephone. “Pasadena has the second highest concentration of non-profits in the country after D.C. There’s also this incredible science/tech scene with Cal Tech, JPL and so on, that offers all sorts of rich opportunities for coverage.”

And it’s not just about Pasadena anymore. Since the publication was launched in 2007 with backing from Mark Hulme, owner of a Texas magazine empire and currently also a producer on the Ashton Kutcher-Steve Jobs biopic, the area has fully morphed into Greater LA’s equivalent of Brooklyn. The strand between Silver Lake and Pasadena, where Russo works with two other full-time staff and an intern, has exploded with Highland Park, Eagle Rock and Glendale migration and artistic activity.

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