I have not lived in New York so I would not be able to talk about the similarities or differences.
However I can tell you that Pasadena is a wonderful community. I have lived here for a few years with my wife and dog. We absolutely love it here.
We are surrounded by art, culture and history. Pasadena is close to the mountains and yet a 45 minute drive will take you Santa Monica where you could visit the beach.
Below is a link to the Pasadena city website where you will find a lot of information for visitors as well as residents.
I am a realtor in Pasadena and would love to assist you or your daughter in finding a comfortable home.