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West Covina’s Rotary Field of Valor makes it to Bing’s home page

November 11, 2013 in Entertainment, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley

I got the tip off it would happen last week that Bing would feature the West Covina’s Rotary Field of Valor on their home page today. Its the work of photographer Bobby L Brett and its really a nice collection of images celebrating Veterans Day.  Even nicer that something and someone local got the front page of a search engine site.

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Monrovia French Market

November 10, 2013 in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping


This weekend was the first of what the promoters will be the first of many quarterly Monrovia French Markets.  Its held at the easy to find parking lot at St. Lukes at the corner of Foothill and California in Monrovia, pretty much equidistant between Myrtle and Mountain Avenues.

I went yesterday morning around 11AM.  The place wasn’t to packed with spectators but the vendors canopies were crammed solid with stuff.  In the spirit of a true Parisian market it was a lot of antique stuff, vintage and to its credit, little in the way of classic swap meet garbage.  More of a glorified garage sale than a true Parisian market.   I overheard a lot of vendors and they all said their big pieces and nicest pieces sold shortly after the 9AM opening so I can’t really say how good it was at opening.

Unlike a Parisian market this place didn’t have a lot of food or farmers market type merchandise and was missed. What was there was Cafe LuMar, a  local French restaurant selling stuff from a warming tray.  I would have expected at least cooked to order crepes, or am I asking too much?

Overall it wasn’t what I expected but then again I’ve done the real thing in the 15th Arrondissement a few years back so I did arrive with high expectations.  Would I give it another try next quarter?  Yes, as it holds promise and is just a short walk from my house.  When the next one is announced I’d post it here.

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Student Artists demonstrate at Celebrate the Arts

October 13, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, News, People, San Gabriel Valley

This post is just about the students, 9 of them at least from the Monrovia Unified School District.  They were at the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts 50th Annual Celebrate the Arts show. All were demonstrating their talents in the flat media with a variety of media.  Urban art to plein air to abstract it was all there and represented.  Nice work by a bunch of talented kids.  Also, aside from this YouTube video there is some images of them and their work on flickr HERE.

Today most of them will be back from 1-5PM in Monrovia’s historic Library Park working on their art.  All you could want to know about Celebrate the Arts HERE.  

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Bill Hyatt featured artist at Celebrate the Arts

October 11, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, People, Profiles, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

Heart and skull

Bill Hyatt is a metal sculptor of some renown in the area. His metal sculptures are beautifully executed ranging from the surreal to literal representation of their subject matter.  They are surreal and real at the same time.  Often whimsical, often make an interesting punctuation mark in the area they are displayed. From small crucifix to room sized they are always different and always beautifully done.

I’ve known Bill for a number of years through the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) which is sponsoring the Celebrate the Arts this weekend.  Bill Hyatt was chosen to be this year’s Featured Artist for a variety of reasons.  Bill has been involved with MAFA for many years, working tirelessly in the lean years to ensure the Celebrate the Arts show was put on.  His devotion to MAFA as well as his beautifully executed art were the reason he was chosen to be the featured artists for this years 50th Anniversary Show.  For a small gallery of his work make the jump.

Read the rest of this entry →

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50th Annual Celebrate the Arts this weekend in Monrovia

October 11, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, People, Pets, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

Celebrate the Arts poster

This weekend, October 12 and 13,  marks the 50th Anniversary of Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) annual show, Celebrate the Arts.  Celebrate the Arts is a fine art event that has artists representing many media, from oil/acrylics, metal sculpture to photography/digital art it s all there.  This is a juried event where you can rest assured there are no simple bead stringers, but fine artists at the top of their craft.  But, have no fear, read a bit further and you will quickly realize this is more than some stuffy museum show, as we have our eccentric and unusual coming from the community to spice things up and keep it different.

The event will be held in Library Park in the heart of historic Old Town Monrovia right on Myrtle Avenue. There is ample FREE parking, something Monrovia still believes in providing visitors, all around Library Park.  Celebrate the arts is in the Eastern portion of Library Park on Myrtle Avenue between Palm and Lime avenues.  The show will run both days from 10AM-6PM Read the rest of this entry →

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The French Concert in Sierra Madre Sunday 10/6

September 30, 2013 in Entertainment, Events, Music, San Gabriel Valley

sundaymusicseriesfrenchconcert

Consistently voted one of the best community theaters in all of Los Angeles, the Sierra Madre Playhouse is presenting “The French Concert”.   This is a joint effort with the Colbert School of Music in Los Angeles.

They will even have a liquor license for the event and you will be able to enjoy some great wine during intermission.

You can get your tickets online and I would suggest buying early as this small, intimate venue could well sell out.  You can order online HERE.

DEETS: Sunday October 6, 2013 7 PM.  Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre CA MAP HERE  Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for Seniors, and $10 for students(to age 21).

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Build it and they will ride is the mantra

September 26, 2013 in LA, Mass Transit, San Gabriel Valley, Transportation

Dear Goldline, not necessarily so…

There is a video out there that  underscores a big concern for many in my little corner of L.A as the Gold Line slowly extends our way. The video isn’t available for distribution or sharing.  You can google and view it “Dear Gold Line Station”.

How will we get there and will there be enough parking is a problem many of us see.   The general plans have been down for years.  Some folks are now awakening to the problems and trying to change them while there is still time.  Is it too late to fix?

Aside from this, it really bugs me that the Gold Line has its own construction authority that is constantly trying to “sell” us on the idea that its a good thing.  They even have a troll that scans the news and blogs looking for anything negative on the Gold Line to brow beat them down refuting it all.

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Madre Fire in Azusa out of control still

September 24, 2013 in Fires, Law Enforcement, News, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal


It started around 6PM yesterday evening. CA highway 39 is closed at Madre to traffic.  I have friends that live in the canyon in the area where some homes were evacuated.  Where I sit right now its smokey and ashy.

Do stay away from the area close to the fire and keep it free or firefighters and police to move people in and out as needed unimpeded.  If you really want a good view of the ‘copters and superscoopers going in and out of Azusa Canyon the Lario Bike trail off of Foothill Blvd in Irwindale/Azusa is the best spot.  Good clear view of the fire zone as well as the airborne fire fighting equipment.   The Lario Bike trail is between Mt Olive Drive in Duarte and Irwindale Ave in Azusa.  The parking lot entrance is just east of the San Gabriel River Bridge.  MAP HERE.\

Pics by me with my phone from my front porch yesterday evening and again at dawn.  Click to embiggen

UPDATE 9AM.

I’m not sure how this will affect the Lario Trail Parking area but this just in from LA County Sheriff via Nixle.

Temple City Sheriff’s Station reports street closures in the Duarte area due the fire burning north of Fish Canyon. Huntington Drive is closed at Encanto Parkway. All residential streets that intersect with Encanto Parkway north of Huntington Drive into Fish Canyon have also been closed. Encanto Park has been closed and is being used as a staging area for water dropping helicopters. At this time there is no threat to the cities of Duarte or Bradbury. Approximately 50 acres have been burned in the mountain area. There are no evacuations anticipated at this time. There has been no information regarding any structures being threatened. The percentage of the fire containment is unknown at this time

UPDATE 5:30pm

Via Monrovia PD-Fire Nixle alert:

The Madre Fire in Azusa is 250 acres and 30% contained with 450 personnel assigned, including 6 aircraft.  There is no threat to Monrovia.

For full details, view this message on the web.

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23rd Annual Street Rods Forever show in Monrovia Saturday

September 12, 2013 in Driving, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, San Gabriel Valley


This show is one of my all time favorites, not because its where I live, its because its a terrific show focused on one type of car…street rods and other customs.  Every car has a story and the owner will gladly tell you how he took it from who-knows-what-condition to the street rod or custom you see now.  Seriously, they love to talk about the trials and tribulations of getting that car to show quality or at least driveable. Read the rest of this entry →

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Pacific Plate Brewery : great microbrewery with a twist opens in my ‘hood

September 1, 2013 in Food & Drink, LA, San Gabriel Valley

Yup, Pacific Plate Brewery is gonna put Monrovia on the map of microbrewers.  Great beers with a twist…flavors kicked up a notch with real fruit in the case of the Mango IPA.  My favorite however was the Cardamom Ginger Saison, a wonderfully spicy beer.

Pacific Plate is an interesting brewery.  They make craft beers with a twist as you might have guessed.  They start with whole grains they mill themselves. They add flavor pairings that compliment each other to create very different beers than you typically find on the shelves of your local groc.  Each batch is brewed by the barrel, not by the bajillion barrels that gives them better control over the final product.  They even grow their own yeast to maintain the quality of their beer.  All good stuff. Read the rest of this entry →

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626 Night Market – Encore this weekend Sat/Sun 8/31 and 9/1

August 29, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

OK, its my little obsession, but its fun.  The 626 Night Market is CROWDED crazy, but fun.  Get there early while the food is still plentiful and Parking is easiest.  Prepare for crowds, but they are friendly and festive so its all good.  Prices are reasonable, not cheap but worth every penny.  Not much in the way of  ‘mericanized stuff, but thats a good thing.

Getting there is easy.  The Santa Anita is constricted due to construction for the Gold Line, I’d recommend exiting at Huntington 1 mile east and follow Huntington, a right turn heading west to Santa Anita Race Track and the 626 Night Market.

Deets Saturday 8/31, Sunday 9/1, 4PM to 1AM. 285 W. Huntington Drive,Arcadia, CA 91007 (Gates 3 or 5 off Huntington Drive; Gate 8 off Baldwin Avenue) MAP HERE. Free parking. Admission $2 4-6PM, $3 after 6PM.

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Paint Nite at Monrovia’s Paint n Play Saturday 8/31

August 27, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Music, People, San Gabriel Valley

This promises to be a really fun event.  Its being taught by one of my favorite artists/sculptors Rick Kess. I love his work and this class he will teach you the basics of composition and painting while you enjoy complimentary refreshments and live music.  Should be a ton of fun.

Its not free, the cost s $45 and includes the materials and lesson.  Rick will make the class fun and educational at the same time.  The proceeds from this event sponsored by the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts will go to fund their numerous projects that bring art to the community.

Arrive early and you can also take in all the great art presented by local artists at the last Summer Art Walk that will take place on Myrtle Avenue that night.

Deets: Saturday 8/31 7:30PM.  Paint N Play Art Studio, 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016 MAP HERE  626-256-4848 for Reservations.

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YO…sweetheart you ain’t handicapped

August 21, 2013 in Driving, Law, San Gabriel Valley, Transportation

And you park funny too!

Here I am sitting in the rather fast moving drive through line with a few cars behind me. Behind me is this Twenty-something with a kidlet. Suddenly she dives over to the side and goes into a Handicapped Parking Space…clearly signed and delineated in blue paint. She hops out, grabs a kid from the back seat who SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN A CAR SEAT and runs into the store. Seriously, having had a parent that was handicapped prior to his passing I know those spots are precious to those who need them. I wish a pox upon that little chirpy for taking the spot from one who could have used it.

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626 Night Market vendor list for this weekend is live

August 2, 2013 in Announcements, Art, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

I’m jazzed and excited for tomorrow night as thats the night we plan on attending the 626 Night Market. Read my other post for deets.

The vendor directory went live yesterday morning. See who will be at 626 Night Market this weekend!

▸ PRINT out the directory here: http://bit.ly/626NMAugustDirectory
▸ Or SCAN the QR code to access the map on your phone!
▸ Our friends at Splatnom have created a mobile-friendly menu! http://bit.ly/626NM-Menu

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626 Night Market Friday and Saturday August 3 and 4

July 30, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

I love this guy. “Mad Asians Everywhere”, actually its a great mix of us folks from here in the SGV. The Night Market is a ton of fun, an emersion in all things Asian, food trucks, art, junk you name it. And a ton of jovial folks. Arrive early and you save a bit on admission and get easier parking. Things get pretty insane around 8PM. Saturday is the busiest day of the 2 day event, but that isn’t saying much as the place is PACKED.  To give you an idea how big and popular this event is they have added another weekend to the mix, August 31 and Sept 1.

Sorry, there isn’t an easy way to get to the 626 Night Market by train. Yet. The Gold Line is still over a year from arriving in Arcadia and Monrovia. You have to drive it on the 210 and Exit Santa Anita. Do allow for a little extra time on Santa Anita as the roadway is a bit constricted in parts for Gold Line construction. An option to avoid that is to take the Huntington Drive exit a mile east of Santa Anita, make a right turn and then follow it until you get to Santa Anita Park.

Deets: Santa Anita Park (Front Paddock Gardens) 285 W. Huntington Drive Arcadia, CA 91007 MAP HERE

Free Parking, Admission: $2 (4-6PM); $3 (after 6PM) Free for children 12 and younger