Tell me about life in Pasadena, please.
I'm a 2nd generation Pasadenian and I live in South Pasadena currently. Pasadena's population is about 130,000 people, with a very culturally and ethnically mixed population. Honestly I'm not 100% sure where Muir Heights is, but I do know it's in the northwest section. I'm sorry to report that this area, with some exceptions, tends to be the most crime ridden area of the city. It's light years better than it was 20 years ago, but still has its share of problems. It's nowhere near as bad as the worst parts of Philly, South Central LA, etc but it does have a history of gang violence and such, specifically between African American and Hispanic gangs. Here's a pretty good rule of thumb with regards to where its safe to live: west of Lake, north of Orange Grove and south of Woodbury is what's considered by many to be the worst neighborhood in town. Generally speaking, if you can avoid living here you'll be better off. Of course there are exceptions, but this is just a general rule of thumb.
With all that said, Pasadena in general is a great place to live. It has all the nightlife you could ask for, easy access to Downtown LA, Hollywood, the camp sites and skiing in the mountains, and the ocean. Freeway accessibility is extremely easy here, especially compared to the rest of LA County.
You get less of the Hollywood types on this side of town, and as someone who worked in the industry I can honestly say that it makes a huge difference. The people in Pasadena and its surrounding communities tend to be much more polite, kind and courteous than the folks in the valley and the Westside, and that has everything to do with having to deal with less traffic and less asshole producers and agents.
We also have tons of beautiful Craftsman homes and gorgeous tree lined streets. The one thing Hollywood uses Pasadena for is its beauty and its Midwestern like charm. Pasadena is Los Angeles' original suburb, so you have all kinds of beautiful historical homes and locations from the turn of the century that have been preserved.
The smog has gotten much better. Although you'll still encounter it, it's usually not the oppressive brown cloud it was when I grew up. Be warned, it does get hot here during the summer but what's nice is that it's a dry desert heat so humidity isn't normally a factor.
Anyway, I hope this helps. PM me if you need anymore advice on things.