Actually, its more like two-and-a-half days as the parade doesn’t start until 7PM on Thursday, but the next two days will be busy in Old Town Monrovia. We’re celebrating our 125th birthday and all are welcome to attend…its a folksy-homey-small-towny kind of event. All the information you could want is on the city web HERE, with a special section for the 3.5 mile “Fountain to the Falls Walk/Run” HERE. Map of center of Old Town HERE. Seriously, it is all a lot of fun, especially if you have kids, I certainly will be around for most of it. Read the rest of this entry →
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Meet Evan Cook, the Monrovia Association of Fine Art’s Student Artist of the Year. I have to admit the funnest part of being in MAFA is to find young talent and help recognize them and foster their interest in creating art. Watching Evan grow into his art the last few years has been fun and certainly he has grown tremendously under the mentoring of his teacher at MHS, Sal Perez, and his employer Lisa Barrios of the Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery. At Paint n Play Evan both shows his work and gives lessons on the potters wheel and ceramics.
My corner of L.A. turns 125 in a few more days. To celebrate, aside from all the parades, concerts in the park and what have you they are going to be planting Art Bears in the Old Town Area. There will be at least 6 Bears to start with a goal of a couple dozen in the community once they are all done in the next few years.
This particular bear is “Samson the Tourist Bear” and is done by local Artist Rick Kess. Rick is an artist that works at Disney making the floats for the parade. His bear took nearly 2 weeks to complete. Like all of the artists Rick started with a basic fiberglass bear which he embellished, a lot, before applying paint. The complete embellishment process can be found in my flickr set. All these images get bigger with a click.
The Parade that is a party…the random nearly-annual Doo Dah Parade takes place in East Pasadena on Saturday April 30. None of the usual stuffiness of the Rose Parade, this is a totally irreverent event that I just adore. Its a lot silliness, a lot of politically incorrect and just plain fun to watch it stroll on by.
The party is set to start 11 am-ish. It will start at the corner of Vinedo and Colorado Blvds (MAP HERE). The parade will march down one side of Colorado Blvd westerly to Altadena then turn around and go east on the other side to San Gabriel Blvd. At San Gabriel the parade again turns around to go west back to Vinedo Ave.
There are multiple parties going on after the parade. The big official party will be at the American Legion Hall at 179 N Vinedo St (2 Blocks north of the parade route). All the info you could want on the parade and after party HERE on the official web site.
Do arrive early as the spectator space fills fast. Sorry, but there is limited public transpo into the parade site and traffic does get nasty around there.
Sunday May 1st will be the first official Cinco de Mayo celebration in the SGV. Rutillio “Rudy” Castrellon who owns Monrovia’s Rudy’s Mexican Restaurant (which I’ve blogged about in the past here) is the one spearheading this event. He is bringing it to us to help celebrate the day as they did in Mexico where he grew up as a kid. It will be a block party with the street blocked off to celebrate the day and the contribution of Latinos to the community and region. Informational web site HERE.
There will be dancing in the street with music provided by Mariachi Divas, Delgado Brothers, Los Fabulocos and Banda Brothers. There will also be artists and dancers in the event as well sharing their art.
Deets: Sunday May 1, 2011 2-8PM, Colorado and Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA MAP HERE
Free is the magic word for this event, including the parking. They have some great presentations lined up to provide you with Strategies for Success in Today’s Economy. Some of the topics include Business Marketing, SBA Loan Programs and Services, Important Sales and Use Tax Updates, and much more. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to speak with experts from various agencies that specialize in helping small businesses grow and succeed. It is brought to us by Jerome E Horton (Chairman of the State Board of Equalization), Roger Hernandez (Assembly member 57th district) and the city of West Covina.
You do need to register online, for free with the BOE and can do so at This Link. Or you can call to reserve a spot at 888-847-9652
Deets: Friday May 6, 2011 9AM – noon. 1444 West Garvey Ave (city hall) West Covina CA 91790 MAP HERE
OK…I am a fan of the Creme Brulee Torte from PF Chang’s and Cheesecake factory, not that I frequent either all that often. It is a cheesecakey filling covered with oozy caramelly brulee topping. Costco has it this week direct from the bakery for $13.89. Such a deal as the whole thing at the chain will run you $35. The Restaurant Dessert Company will be at Costco Azusa until this Saturday. Worth the short detour off of the 210 at Irwindale Ave here in the SGV. MAP HERE.
My little corner of LA had “Samson the Hot Tub Bear” visiting us for a few years back in the mid-90′s. Even the national news picked up on this bear. Most saw him as an endearing critter and rather than kill him for being a pest he was captured and set off to a zoo to live off his remaining years.
To celebrate the legacy of Samson and the coming 125th Birthday of Monrovia (which some of us affectionately refer to as the Art City) there will be Art Bears. There will be about a dozen of these bears in various styles produced by Monrovia artists. These bears are sponsored by the locals as well. These bears will be placed about Old Town Monrovia after the big birthday celebration parade in May.
This particular bear is being done by local artist Rick Kess who also happens to work for Disney in their visual arts department. This bear so far is just getting some additional decoration on him prior to painting. The next step is to sand him and down and prep for painting over next weekend. Read the rest of this entry →
If you have a car made for carving up the twisties in the mountains one of my favorite stretches in the area has reopened up to Crystal Lake. Yup, CA Highway 39 that has been closed for the last 9 years has reopened, and that includes the sorta famous campground snack bar and its Chili.
I just got back after spending a couple of hours up there carving up the curves, gas prices be damned, and enjoyed every minute of it. Of course once you are up there stop and enjoy the view as well as the snow melting around you…yes you are that high up. Read the rest of this entry →
I have to admit this stopped me in my tracks for a bit. For the first time in ages I went onto the Lario San Gabriel River Trail via Encanto Park. I’ve blogged in the past about this great little park, now they have a new feature. A man made “river trail” replete with crane sculptures and nice little seating areas.
What a great place to take kids without the risks associated with the river itself to teach them about the rivers in the area. Of course ripping out a bunch of grass and putting in native species will help with the water load created by that park in this Mediterranean climate of ours.
Pics by me with my cell phone or “toy camera”…more of the park and San Gabriel river after the jump.
Come rain, quake or fallout the picnic will go forward Saturday at Farnsworth Park in Altadena. This will be something like the 5th Bloggers Picnic since we started this in 2007. Its open to all bloggers, blog readers, fans and stalkers who would like to attend. We’ve even had bloggers from the LA area appear at prior events so it truly is open to everyone.
Timothy Rutt of the Altadena Blog took over organizing a few years ago. I don’t have a complete list of everyone that will be there, but I can tell you that West Coast Grrlie Blather, Pasadena PIO and the Pasadena Daily Photo will be there to get things started. The gawds of blogging overruled kid’s sports gawds this weekend so even I can make it for a while on Saturday morning (I’m bringing “Browned Butter Brownies” as my contribution).
This is true potluck style. Bring your favorite dish to share. Blog it to share with others if you can.
DEETS: Saturday March 19, 11AM-5PM, General Charles S Farnsworth Park, Altadena CA. MAP HERE.
Not that many months ago Patch, AOL’s news group came to LA with the promise of hyper local news reporting. I have to admit I had high hopes for them to be digging into local news that the bigger outlets don’t tackle as it just wouldn’t generate the ratings. Not all the bloggers held the same high hopes, some certainly have taken exception to the presence of “McBlog”.
Here in the SGV two bloggers in particular have focused on what Patch is doing in their communities. Sierra Madre Tattler and Monrovia City Watch believe that Patch reporters don’t report accurately or in depth. Allegations are also made of censored comments and out right banning from comments.
On the first topic Sierra Madre Tattler is more adamant about the shortcomings of patch. John Crawford has numerous posts up on Tattler regarding the short comings of the legal understanding and accuracy of reporting. He has openly challenged the stories on their controversial water rate hikes. He and many believe that procedurally the city didn’t follow the law regarding hearing notices etc.,. When challenged Sierra Madre Patch ultimately stood behind the report even though Sierra Tattler believes they gave them all that was needed for a retraction. (As a side bar the Howard Jarvis folks are looking into the rate issue and may sue over how it was done).
He summed up Patch in a recent email “he reporting on Patch is lame at best, disinformation at worst. The Sierra Madre version of America’s 800 site McBlog has resorted to telling the worst kinds of lies in what is a rather pathetic attempt to curry favor with City Hall.” He also said in a blog post “Sierra Madre has long been beset by media that thinks people here are only interested in reading hollow press releases and brain numbing boosterism. Material coming from the same small handful of people, over and over again.” More on his thoughts HERE.
My emails to Sierra Madre Patch editor John Stevens for comment on the allegations made by Sierra Madre were not responded to.
Here in Monrovia, Monrovia City Watch takes exception with the depth and accuracy as well, but is more concerned with censorship of comments. Recently there was an unfortunate loss of life in a fire and comments went off topic into the effectiveness and compensation of the local firefighters. In it Cyrus posted a link to a youtube video that was, according to Nathan McIntire of Monrovia Patch, flagged by 3 locals as “inappropriate”.
After that Cyrus made several additional comments regarding the “censor” of his comment. He has stated to me that those comments were all removed as well as those made by Nathan to remove the entire chain of comments so no one could read into what had transpired.
Nathan commented on Cyrus’ allegations in an email to me:
As far as the depth of our coverage, I think it speaks for itself. We cover Monrovia on a daily basis and are grateful to have been embraced by nearly everyone in the community, including Mr. Kemp (who was a very active user), before this unfortunate incident.
Regarding Mr. Kemp’s charge that he was “censored” on our site: the only comment of his that was ever removed–before our regional editor removed his recent threat to spam our site–was removed by other users. It was a link to a video deriding firefighters (in vulgar language) that was posted to a story about a local woman dying in a fire. Three users flagged the post as inappropriate, and it was automatically removed by our system.
Cyrus reponds that it is pure “bullshit”, that he was banned because he got into “Nathan’s face over the depth and accuracy of the fire reporting”. He agrees that the video had what some would consider vulgar language, but he believes that the link alone could have been deleted. If they felt his including his blog URL in the comment was spam they shouldn’t have included a spot to put ones URL in the comment in the first place. Banning him outright was just “Bullshit and hiding behind the TOS was equally so”. (It appears that flagging results in automatic removal of comments by the Patch system based on Nathan’s comments).
Bloggers like Cyrus and John get it that comments aren’t always nice or for the thin skinned. Certainly life isn’t always nice-nice, but is the AOL TOS for Patch just a little rigid? (I get it they are a big corporation and can set their own terms of service). Anyone else running into similar with Patch?
(screen grab of the patch sign-in courtesy of Cyrus Kemp and it does get bigger with a click)
Its far too nice out to be inside today. One great place to be out today is to see the camellias that are in bloom at The Huntington Library in San Marino here in the SGV. It has thousands of blossom in their gardens to enjoy.
This weekend also happens to be the 39th Annual Camellia Show, co-sponsored by the Southern California Camellia Society. In addition to the displays, a wide selection of camellia plants available for purchase. While there explore the acres of blooming camellias in the North Vista, Japanese Garden canyon, and Chinese Garden. Admission to the show and sale areas is free. To enjoy the gardens you will need to purchase a ticket for entrance at $20 for adults which isn’t cheap but does get you access to all of the gorgeous gardens and library, details HERE.
Deets:Feb. 12–13,Sat.: 1–4:30 p.m.,Sun.: 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108 Map HERE.
Pic by me of some camellia in bloom in my own garden.
So last week Farmers Insurance based in Simi Valley bought the naming rights to an NFL stadium to be built in downtown LA. Pretty cool, right? Well the folks out in the City of Industry haven’t given up on an NFL stadium out there and can one up the Downtown LA Folks, their preliminary draft Environmental Report has gotten approval. The Pasadena Star News is running a poll and as of Sunday afternoon voting is 2 to1 in favor of City of Industry.
Of course its all contingent on getting a NFL team to plunk in a stadium and for that there are no commitments. Personally I think it would be pretty cool to be Downtown if only because it would be mass transit accessible for more folks as opposed to the transit starved C of I.
Where would you put a stadium? Sound off in the comments and vote over at the Pasadena Star News HERE.
Hat tip to the folks over at Total Traffic Los Angeles for twittering a link to their site outlining all the parking, road closures and Mass Transit options for the Rose Parade on Saturday morning. Here in the SGV traffic will suck prior to and especially right after the parade, if you can take Mass Transit use that option. Complete list from Total Traffic Los Angeles HERE.
The Metro Gold Line has several stops in Pasadena, none more than a couple of blocks from the parade route. Metro Gold Line will have free fares for those travelling into Pasadena New Years Eve, along with extended hours according to the Pasadena Star News. The Gold Line schedule HERE.