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Below you'll find a list of services and business that are well regarded in Pasadena or that offer student discounts and special Caltech student programs. If you want more reviews, check out yelp!

Automotive Service

If you know of any student-discounts at auto repair shops or auto body shops, post them here.


This is a partial list of banks near Caltech. Online banking, paycheck direct deposit, and online bill pay is commonplace, so you may not need to spend much time at the bank, but it's good to choose one nearby, if only for the ATM.

  • Caltech Employees Federal Credit Union (CEFCU) 515 S. Wilson, x6300 They are on campus, friendly, affordable, and are not going to merge with some other bank and move to somewhere far away. They offer savings accounts, loans, and credit cards (all with great interest rates). Their student Visa card which requires little background check is quite attractive to some international students and undergraduates. On the down side, they do not offer checking accounts, so you have to go to the credit union to pay your bills. The credit union has ATMs in Keith Spalding, outside of Winnett, and at JPL, which do not charge fees. There is an ATM card available for a fee.
  • Union 70 S. Lake Ave., Ste. 100, Pasadena, (626) 683-5500 They offer a basic checking account. There is a per check charge of $0.75 after the first five per month and a limit of five in-bank deposits. There is no monthly service charge.
  • Wells Fargo 655 N Fair Oaks Ave, (626) 685-9275 They have about six types of checking accounts; Custom Access is the one most grad students and postdocs use. It offers free checking if you do not see a teller, service charges are waived if you have direct deposit, and there's good web banking, but they charge $5.00 a month for electronic bill payment.


Caltech Human Resources provides a wealth of information on finding local daycares and schools:

Caltech has built it's own daycare facility on the south side of campus and has an education center near JPL. These rimarily serve Caltech and JPL families with children between 2 months and 4 yearsold, and also offers an afterschool program. It's very difficult to get into this center- the waitinglist is long (1.5-2 years) and few spots are available.

Children's Center at Caltech

Child Education Center

Caltech recognizes that childcare costs impose a financial burden on many members of the community. The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) allows eligible applicants to receive up to $4000 per year to help defray childcare costs. Awards are available to graduate students with dependent children ages 10 and under. Explore the HR Website for eligibility information and program guidelines

Infant Care:

The most important thing to know about looking for infant day care is that you should start looking early. Many of the best institutional options for infant care have waiting lists of 6 months or more. It would be best to start looking during pregnancy, because there are MANY other wonderful things that will occupy your time and attention once the baby is born. When looking for day care, you should visit several providers and be sure that they are state licensed. Other important questions include what a typical day for your infant would entail and how many infants each person will be caring for. Infant care is expensive relative to other childcare because the ratio of care providers is higher (State requirements: 4:1 for infants vs. 6:1 for toddlers and 12:1 for preschoolers).

Government Related Services

Governmental Offices

  • Department of Motor Vehicles 49 S. Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena; (800) 777-0133 You can save yourself a lot of time at the DMV by calling ahead to arrange an appointment, or even better you can make an appointment online and have zero wait time. You can register your vehicle and get a driver's license at the DMV.
  • Social Security Office 104 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; (800) 772-1213 Open from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Mon - Fri except Wed, which is only open until 12:00 PM
  • City Hall Located at Holly and Marengo, you can set up a utilities account, pay off parking tickets, and apply for permits among other things.

Foreign Consulates

A number of countries have consulates in Los Angeles. A good list is online at: If the country does not have a consulate in the LA area, it may have one in San Francisco.

Jury Duty

If you are a United States citizen, you can be called for jury duty. This will involve one week (5 days) of calling in to determine whether or not you are required to report. Then, if you are selected for a case, the average trial lasts 5-7 days. More information is available online at:

Mail services

  • Caltech Mail Services (Keith Spalding Building, x6371)

In addition to handling campus mail, which is delivered twice every weekday, Mail Services is also a U.S. Post Office (USPS) Contract Station. Purchases can be made by cash, check and purchase requisitions. Express Mail and Registered Mail are accepted until 4:45 pm and 3:30 pm, respectively, to meet dispatch times. You can charge your postage to your student or research account by writing your account number in the place on the envelope where the stamp would go.

Caltech has a special contract with Federal Express which allows you to send packages through Mail Services at drastically reduced prices. Ask your option secretary for the location of the nearest FedEx collection box. You can drop off your package at the Mail Service FedEx counter, located at the south driveway entrance of Keith Spalding Administration Building. Open from 8:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. The deadline for FedEx is 4:30 pm.

When Caltech Post Office is closed, you can still drop your mail (with postage) in the outgoing box in your department, in Catalina Housing or any drop box in Pasadena. The closest ones to campus are located at California & Lake, Del Mar & Catalina, and Cordova & Lake. Each of these drop boxes has the pick-up time written on the box and the last pick-up location for the day in the area. If you need a post office later on a weeknight or on the weekend in Pasadena, the Lincoln branch listed below has the longest hours. For more information, check out the USPS website

  • Pasadena Window Services Unit

600 Lincoln Ave; (626) 304-7164

Open 8am - 7pm weekdays, and 9am - 5pm on Saturday.

Public libraries

  • Los Angeles Public Library 630 W. Fifth Street, Los Angeles; (213) 228-7000 The LAPL has many branches in the LA area. The central library (with address shown above) has a beautiful entrance. It is worth a visit even if you are not interested in checking out books there. To apply for your card, bring your driver license or your Caltech ID. (You do not need to be a local resident to get a card.) There is not application fee and you can get your card right there. Alternatively, you can apply for a card on their website and go to pick it up within 30 days. Books are due in three weeks and items can be renewed over the phone. Validated parking is available for an affordable rate if you park in the garage at 524 S. Flower Street. Or, you can take bus #401 from corner of Hill and Colorado and get off at corner of Grand and Fifth Avenue. On your way back, take #401 at Olive and Fifth Street.
  • Pasadena Public Library 285 E. Walnut, Pasadena; (626) 744-4052 The Pasadena Public Library has 10 branches. The main branch (with address shown above) has decent collections and is just a few blocks north of the ARTS Bus downtown route. To apply for your card, bring your California driver license or your Caltech ID. There is no application fee and you can get your card right there in 5 minutes. You can check out items for 21 days at a time. Each item can be renewed over the phone twice. You can return books at any branch. The closest one to Caltech is at 55 S. Hill Ave, on the corner of Hill and Green. This branch features a large selection of Asian books.

Voter registration

A voter registration form can be picked up at any local post office or public library. To be eligible to register you must be a US citizen and at least 18 years of age. You must register at least 29 days before an election to be eligible to vote. Re-registration is necessary if you move or change your name, or fail to vote in an even-year election. It may take several attempts before you are actually registered. The DMV sign up is particularly - you can register right when you get a new driver's license.

Graphics Services

  • Caltech Graphic Resources (17-6, x6701) Graphic Resources offers a full range of professional quality printing, copying, binding, laminating, and photographic services (including passport photos for the US and other countries). Consult with them when planning your next project. Pdf files can be submitted via email, and if you go early enough in the day you can often receive same-day service. The rates at GAF are somewhat expensive, but the products are very high quality. Graphic Arts offers the convenience of on campus access and payment with your Caltech account.

Sometimes off-campus shops are the way to go. If you're making a big poster for a conference or slides for a talk, or if you want to make something at 4am, the following places are nearby.

  • Kinko's 855 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 793-6336 Kinko's is open 24 hours a day, which is wonderful when you're working all night to meet some deadline. They can print fairly big things, bind things like candidacy reports, and make overhead transparencies.
  • N2 Graphics 1009 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 793-9844 N2 Graphics can print almost anything. The biggest printer uses a roll of paper that is 6 feet wide, so they can make big, conference sized posters. N2 also prints smaller things, shirts, mouse pads, etc. They teach classes in most popular layout and graphics programs (like Quark, Photoshop, etc.) Very accomodating.

Hair Styling

It's best to ask around or Yelp it, but the following places offer student discounts

  • 18|8 Hair Salon Located in the Commons at Lake and Cordova, this is a men's salon that has a student rate and for a really nice haircut. They have free beer, wine, or soda while you wait.

Hotels and Motels

  • Athenaeum x8200
    • ~$170/night
    • You need to be a member to make room reservations. Their rates are comparable to the motels around, but they are on campus and you can have a wonderful dinner just downstairs of your room. Get the famous Einstein Suite if it's available.

Laundromats/Dry Cleaning

Many commercial laundries and laundromats are scattered throughout Pasadena. In addition to the laundry machines in all Caltech housing, there are many laundromats around pasadena that are coin or credit based. The following are dry-cleaners with Caltech-specific discounts.

  • Round the Clock Cleaners: 827 E. Colorado Blvd (Colorado / Lake); (626) 793-3919 20% off for Caltech students

Legal services

The Grad Office (Center for Student Services, x6346) has a list of local lawyers.

Pasadena Lawyer Referral Service 127 N. Madison, Pasadena, map; (626) 795-5641 An inexpensive legal service. They will arrange an interview with a lawyer for a $35 fee for the first consultation.



Los Angeles has one daily newspaper, the LA Times. It has extensive news coverage and a Sunday Calendar section which lists entertainment available for the coming week. The local daily is the Pasadena Star News, featuring local news, local classified ads, and sale ads for local stores.

There are also several free papers which are available outside Millikan and elsewhere in Pasadena. The LA Weekly, LA alternative and L.A. City Beat have news features and extensive coverage of the LA entertainment scene. Arthur magazine is a bimonthly free magazine with good features, published in LA but distributed nationally. The Pasadena Weekly is a smaller paper which focuses on Pasadena arts and entertainment and has a classified section.

The third floor of the Sherman Fairchild Library receives newspapers and magazines from all over the world. There you can find papers from all over the United States, such as the Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, as well as foreign newspapers such as the China Daily News, The Guaridan, The Hindu, Le Monde, London Times, and Die Zeit.


Guide to LA radio:

Pet Care


  • Cat Clinic 1986 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 795-5916
  • Paradise for Pets 374 E. Penn St., Pasadena; (626) 797-6842

Emergency clinics

  • Animal Emergency Clinic of Pasadena 2121 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 564-0704
  • Foothill Veterinary Hospital 2204 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 792-1187


  • Dog's Best Friend Grooming Center 1776 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 793-5938
  • Pat's Pet Grooming 620 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; (626) 683-3333


  • Highlander Pets and Aquarium 159 E. Foothill, Arcadia; (626) 357-1787
  • Petco 845 S. Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena; (626) 577-2600
    • Huge pet supermarket. Everything from the pets themselves (fish and such) to pet houses and pet food. Prices on pet food are decent, although higher than what you'd find at Walmart for comparable brands; however, Petco has a much greater selection than any other store, making comparisons for anything but Purina pointless. The staff is friendly, and, best of all, pets are actually allowed in the store. Try doing that at Target.
  • Petsmart 3347 E. Foothill, Pasadena; (626) 351-8434
  • Steve's Pets 2395 N. Lake Ave., Altadena; (626) 798-6920
  • Three Dog Bakery 24 Smith Alley, Pasadena; (626) 440-0443
    • For those who have money to spare, this shop makes pastries, snacks and such for pets (generally dogs). Just in case that massive TA assistantship is burning a hole in your pocket.


  • Altadena Animal Hospital 2071 N. Lake Ave., Altadena; (626) 798-0738
  • Animal Medical Hospital 2116 E. Colorado, (626) 796-3019
  • Arroyo Veterinary Hospital 797 S. Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena; (626) 796-9206
  • Whiskers to Tails Cat Hospital 156 S. Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 795-4134


Pasadena sorts all trash, but in case you want to presort, the following information might help.

The recycling center is located off the Broad Center parking lot between Michigan and Wilson. It offers recycling for white paper, newspaper, cardboard, mixed paper, colored paper, lab glass, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), California Redemption Value (CRV) aluminum, CRV glass, CRV plastics (of many varieties), magazines, phone directories, and tin.

In most campus buildings there are recycling bins for white paper, newspaper, magazines, and mixed paper. Most stockrooms have cardboard recycling nearby. Catalina graduate housing recycling sites have bins for the above paper products, and also for plastics (HDPE, #1, and PETE, #2), glass (clear, brown, green), aluminum cans (in recreation rooms), and steel cans.

When recycling white paper, do not mix in envelopes, colored paper, tape, gummed labels or newspaper. Paper with glues, plastics, or a lot of dyes should be placed in the mixed paper bin. Waxed paper should be thrown away. Help prevent overflowing bins by crushing plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Aluminum foil should not be included in the aluminum can recycling. Put only container glass in the glass recycling; window glass and Pyrex glass have different composition and melting temperature. Please deposit only empty, rinsed bottles and cans to prevent pests and noxious odors.

There are opportunities to recycle outside Caltech as well. Cans and bottles can be recycled at Replanet stations. A full listing of stations can be found at The nearest one to campus is at Ralphs, 160 N. Lake Ave. Plastic grocery bags, styrofoam and polystyrene can also be recycled at Ralphs.

Religious services

Abundant Life Community Church 1555 E. Howard St., Pasadena; (626) 398-2418

Service: 10am Sunday. A non-denominational combination of contemporary charismatic worship provoked by a profound gratitude of Jesus' work on the cross and a firm grounding in reformed doctrine (heavily influenced by Puritan authors such as John Owen Jonathan Edwards).

All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena; (626) 796-1172

Services: 7:30, 9:00, 11:15am Sunday. A socially progressive, moderately sized church that incorporates a mix of hymns and more contemporary music.

Bible Study Fellowship, San Gabriel Hope Christian Fellowship, 6116 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel;

Meetings: Tuesday evenings at 7:30 during the academic year. A non-denominational weekly Bible study class for young adults. Weekly meetings involve a discussion group, singing, and a lecture.

Calvary Chapel of Pasadena 2200 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 584-9992

Services: 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30am, 6pm Sunday. A non-denominational church with a contemporary, informal style of worship that is energetic and lively. Services usually consist of~1/2 hour of singing led by guitar or a full band then followed by a message from the pastor.

Calvary Community Church 1555 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 796-3146

Service: 11am Sunday. A small and young Baptist church with very active members that is greatly involved in Calvary Christian Elementary school just next door.

First African Methodist Episcopal Church 1700 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; (626) 798-0503

Services: 8:00, 11:00am Sunday. A traditional Methodist church with a twist. Services incorporate a lot of gospel music, and the atmosphere is very nurturing. The small-to-moderate sized congregation is predominantly African-American but open to all.

Grace Lutheran Church 73 N. Hill Ave., Pasadena; (626) 792-4169

Services: 9:30, 11am Sunday. A quick walk for those late risers on Sunday, this small church is attended by a few students.

Harvest Rock Church 1555 E. Howard St., Mott Auditorium, Pasadena; (626) 794-1199

Service: 10am Sunday. A non-denominational church that offers informal, charismatic worship and excellent teaching.

Hindu Temple of Southern California 1600 Las Virgenes Canyon Rd., Calabasas; (310) 880-5552

M-F 9-12am, 3-6pm; Sat, Sun 9am- 7pm. Situated in the Santa Monica Mountains, surrounded by horses, and beautifully landscaped, the Hindu Temple is a peaceful escape. The temple is designed in the classic gopuran shape and consists of two sections: the Balaji temple and the recently-built Shiva and Ganesh temple. Ample food is provided for a small fee on weekends, and festivals are held year-round.

Holliston United Methodist Church 1305 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 793-0685

Service: 10am Sunday. A traditional United Methodist church (beware they ask visitors to stand and introduce themselves!). An easy walk to Holliston and Colorado.

Holy Family Catholic Church 1501 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena; (626) 799-8908

Masses: 6:30, 8, 9:30 (Family Mass), 11:15am, 12:45, 5:30pm (Young Adults Mass). Holy Family is a truly beautiful church in the Spanish mission style, filled with stained glass. Worship covers a broad spectrum, from traditional (the 11:15 Mass) to more informal and liberal (especially the Young Adults Mass, with a young, casual congregation). The extremely large community is very active, especially in volunteer programs, and masses are well-attended.

Knox Presbyterian Church 225 S. Hill Ave., Pasadena; (626) 449-2144

Service: 10:30am Sunday. A traditional service delivered by a very passionate Minister. The small-to-moderate sized congregation is warm, friendly and includes several Techers.

Lake Avenue Congregational Church 393 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena; (626) 795-7221

Services: 9:15, 11am Sunday (traditional); 6pm Saturday, 5:45pm Sunday (contemporary). An extremely large church with several styles of worship (traditional and informal) and many smaller Sunday school classes for close fellowship that is attended by many Techers.

Mandarin Baptist Church of Pasadena 501 N. Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia; (626) 446-2976

Services: 9:30am, 11am Sunday. A Southern Baptist church that offers traditional and contemporary worship in both English and Mandarin. The moderate-sized congregation includes several Caltech students.

Masjid Gibrael 1301 E. Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel, (626) 285-2573

A local mosque attended by most Muslim Student Association members.

Mosaic 1539 E Howard St., Pasadena, CA, 91104; (562) 908-2200

Services: 9 and 11.30

An awesome church led by a great pastor, Erwin McManus. I did my fair share of church hopping, but I finally found a home. I love Mosaic because it is a place where people can feel comfortable no matter where they are in their walk with God. It is a dynamic place full of people in their 20's and 30's that is focused on reaching out to the people of LA. Whether you're a new seeker, or a long time missionary, Mosaic has much to offer: great worship, a drama team, dance team, and sermons that are relevant to our lives and yet are Biblically based. You absolutely have to check it out at least once. People come from all over the world to see the amazing things going on, so you have no excuse being so close in Pasadena. It is a large church with auditorium seating, you won't have any uncomfortable introductions, but it has lots of small groups for establishing close fellowships. (2006)

Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center 1434 N. Altadena Dr., Pasadena; (626) 798-1161

Services: 8pm Fri, 9am Sat (followed by kiddush). A very egalitarian congregation; women take part in every aspect of the service. Attended by a reasonable number of Caltech and JPL people. The current rabbi understands student life and is very welcoming. Expect standard Conservative services with reasonably intellectual commentary.

Pasadena Mennonite Church 1041 N. Altadena Dr., (626) 398-8224

Service: 11am Sunday. An Anabaptist church with modern but not charismatic worship that emphasizes simplicity, adult baptism, community, and pacifism. A fair number of scientists attend, and the church sponsors a "salon" on religion and science that meets at Caltech once per month. The small congregation is mostly young and active in social justice.

St. Philip the Apostle Roman Catholic 151 S. Hill Ave.; (626) 793-0693

Masses: 6:30, 7:45, 9:15, 11am, 12:30 (in Spanish) and 5pm (teen Mass) Sunday. This beautiful church is very tolerant and welcoming. The small-to-moderate sized congregation is predominantly young and multi-cultural (including a large number of Hispanic followers).

Throop Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church 300 S. Los Robles Ave.; (626) 795-8625

Service: 11am Sunday. Throop Memorial offers liberal-minded worship that welcomes all. The congregation is small but growing.

Trinity Baptist Church 1147 Cordova Blvd.; (626) 793-2096

Services: 9:30am and 6pm Sunday. A strongly Bible-based worship with a very loving, small congregation. A Sunday school class taught by Caltech's Tom Meade is offered.


Colorado Blvd. Self Storage

2581 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; office: (626) 229-9999 fax: (626) 229-9903

This storage facility is conveniently located on Colorado Blvd. just east of Altadena Dr. They offer a 10% student discount (mention the Technique!), offer free use of their moving truck, and will waive the security deposit and processing fee.


Pasadena Water and Power

150 S Los Robles, Suite 200, Pasadena;

(626) 744-4005 (customer service)

Power Emergencies

(626) 744-4673

Recycling / Waste Reduction

(626) 744-4449

Southern California Gas

Call center: (800) 427-2200

Internet and Cable

Pasadena is serviced by both Charter and AT&T depending on where you live. Both companies offer bundled packages, but make sure you read through all of the fine print before setting up a contract.

Water emergencies

(626) 744-4138