Parks and Rec filming on location at a bookstore in Pasadena

Last Wednesday, while on my morning walk to Starbucks, I happened to pass by fave bookstore Vroman’s and just about fell over when I noticed an entire slew of production trucks parked out front. I, of course, immediately sought out one of the crew members to ask what was being filmed and he told me that it was an episode of Parks and Recreation. And even though I had never actually seen the NBC series before, I decided to stick around to watch the filming – only after getting my Starbucks first, of course. The shoot was taking place inside of Vroman’s, in the store’s Reading Group section, which had been set up to look like a book signing event was about to occur. The crew had brought in all new furniture for the scene, as well as several posters for Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America, a book supposedly written by Pawnee, Indiana Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation Leslie Knope (aka Amy Poehler). And while I had assumed that the tome was a fake that had been created solely for the filming, it is apparently a real life publication about the show that is set to be released on October 4th.

A display featuring several copies of Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America was set up in the background of the scene and, throughout the day, before filming began, countless Vroman’s customers would walk up and look through it, thinking it was a real item that was for sale. LOL I am dying to know if anyone actually brought a copy up to the cash registers and tried to purchase it! (I wonder if anyone tried to steal a copy, because I would have.)

LOL one of Joan's Picks is The Time Traveler's Optometrist.

At first I was not sure if I would be allowed to photograph the set that the crew had created, so like an idiot I was trying to be sly and take pictures on the down-low, which never seems to work out for me. For some reason, whenever I try to fly under the radar and be covert, I end up drawing attention to myself, which is exactly what happened in this case. One of the crew members noticed me ever-so-stealthily snapping photographs and informed me that I was welcome to take all of the pictures that I wanted . . .

. . . at which point I immediately jumped up onto the podium that Amy Poehler would be standing on during the scene to pose for a pic. YAY!

I was most fascinated, though, with a palm tree located just outside of Vroman’s front doors (which would only be seen in the background of the scene) that set dressers decorated to look like a tree indigenous to the Midwest, where Parks and Recreation supposedly takes place.

As you can see above, the front side of the tree’s trunk had been covered over with fake bark for the filming.

And real life branches from some sort of Midwestern tree (can you tell that I am in no way, shape, or form a green thumb?!?) were mixed in with the actual palm’s branches. The tree looked so incredibly realistic, even up close, that it was almost unbelievable! I don’t think anyone who walked by even noticed that it had been altered, even though the trunk looked a bit odd from the side.

I was absolutely dying to get a photograph with Rob Lowe (whose autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, was recently loaned to me by my good friend/fellow stalker Kerry and is can’t-put-down-AMAZING!) and figured I could catch the actor on his way into the bookstore before filming got started. Sadly though, Vroman’s has three different entrances and I waited outside of the wrong one and missed him entirely. Major, major FAIL! Especially since he was reportedly incredibly friendly and nice! Apparently, one of the Vroman’s employees, who goes by the twitter handle @howsannie, had sent out the following tweet the previous evening: “Parks & Recreation is filming at the store tomorrow. Dibs on @RobLowe!”, to which the actor responded, “I expect prominent book display!” When Rob walked into the store the following afternoon, his books were indeed on prominent display and he not only signed a bunch of copies for Vroman’s to sell, one of which is pictured above, but he also signed a copy for @howsannie. How incredibly cool is that? He even tweeted a photograph of himself from the set that day, which you can take a look at here. I was lucky enough to get to watch Rob, along with Amy Poehler and Chris Pratt, during the filming and all I can say is WOW! The guy is VERY good looking! Much more so than he appears to be onscreen. And while I would have waited around until the shoot wrapped to try to get a picture with the cast, I had promised Miss Pinky Lovejoy, of the Thinking Pink blog, that I would stalk a movie premiere with her later that afternoon, so I couldn’t. Ah well! Here’s hoping they will be filming in Pasadena again sometime soon!

Until next time, Happy Stalking!

Stalk It: Vroman’s Bookstore is located at 695 East Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. You can visit the store’s official website here. Look for the Parks and Recreation episode that was filmed at Vroman’s to air sometime in the next two months or so.


P.S. This is my first ever post, so I hope I did it right.
P.P.S. Since this seems to be confusing some people, I DIDN'T write the article, I'm just posting it from the source. Don't take your anger re: the source not having seen Parks out on me lol. I've watched Parks so many times I can't even keep track.