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Cheeseburger Week in Pasadena starts today

January 12, 2014 in Classic Eats, Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the claim the CHEESEburger was invented in Pasadena.  Several reputable media sources have documented it taking place at the Rite Spot in 1924 by Chef Lionel Sternberger.  To celebrate the entire week, starting today 1/12/ through1/17/2014 is dedicated to the cheeseburger with Pasadena declaring it “Cheeseburger Week”.

Its such a big deal in Pasadena that not only did they declare it a special honorary week, but some 18 restaurants including my fave in Old Town Pasadena, Slaters 50/50 are celebrating the week with all sorts of specials.

Cheeseburger Week has a website and facebook page. Read the rest of this entry →

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Thunderbirds plan rehearsal fly over Pasadena 8AM today

December 31, 2013 in Entertainment, Mass Transit, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Transportation

I got the notice from a variety of sources.  All legit…The Air Force Thunderbirds will do a fly over the Rose Parade Route, Colorado Blvd in Pasadena this morning at 8AM.

For any of you thinking about attending the Rose Parade tomorrow the city has a nifty rules sheet online for you to follow.

My advice is simpler. Take the Gold Line to any of the stations and hoof it to the parade route.  Traffic in and out of Pasadena for the parade is horrific at best, gridlocked for hours, the Gold Line will make your life so much easier. The last time we did the parade when the kids were little it took us 2 hours go 5 miles from our parking space to home, seriously…Gold Line it and get off on the Del Mar, Memorial Park,  Lake, Allen or Sierra Madre Villa stops .

A full copy of the Pasadena Police Nixel alert after the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

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Its just too Damn Big – Hahamonga dredging protest

December 12, 2013 in environment, Events, Politics, San Gabriel Valley, Social issues

Somehow, somewhere, things have gotten out of hand in the Hahamonga Watershed area nestled below JPL and abutted by LaCanada and Altadena/Pasadena.  After many community meetings, a questional EIR and just plain upset folks it looks like the plan to completely dredge out and obliterate every living thing is moving forward.  An important natural recreation and wildlife spot will be lost if they move through with their plans.

Concerned citizens are being asked to gather on either side of the dam for a holding of the hands protest.  It will take place on Saturday 12/14/2013 at a11AM.  Full details on where to meet up is on the flyer you can click to embiggen.  There is a FB page with more information on the protest as well as the plans by L.A. County Public Works to dredge and expand.  MAP HERE

 

 

 

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A Christmas Carol at Sierra Madre Playhouse through 12/23

December 4, 2013 in Entertainment, Events, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Theatre/Stage

Sierra Madre Playhouse has got to be one of my favorite venues for plays.  Its a small theatre with a wonderfully warm setting.  Intimate even. This trailer is just a sample of the quality of work that they do there.   They are presenting A Christmas Carol now through December 23, 2013.  The play is on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays only.

This being a small venue it is advisable you buy your tickets online in advance of the showing you would like to see.  They do sell out fast.  Ticket prices are $25/28.  Online you do have the option of picking your seats.  You may order HERE.

Deets: Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 West Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre, California 91024 (626) 355-4318 MAP HERE

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Small Business Saturday get out an meet some folks

November 30, 2013 in Art, Books, Entertainment, Events, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

Authors and Artists, I have them both for you here in the SGV.

First up is a person I feel tickled to know, actor, writer, blogger and photographer Petrea Burchard.  She released her novel, Camelot & Vine this spring.  She’ll be at two, count ‘em two book signings today.  Petrea will be at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena from 11AM-1PM today.  Then she will move to Websters Fine Stationers in Altadena around 2PM for a few hours.

After that I think you would enjoy Old Town Monrovia, especially the area in front of Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery.  Several artists will be there from 6PM-10PM for an evening art walk.  Among the artists there will be author and photographer Steve McCarthy.  Steve has written a few books that he will have there and sign for you.  First is “Road Trippin'” and the other is his first novel, “Old Farts Spy Club”.

I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your shopping dollars in the hands of the small businesses in the community.  These small businesses keep their money in the community and help keep us strong and vibrant.  Whether it be my little corner of L.A or yours we all benefit from getting to know them, shop with them and make them strong as they give so much back to our communities.

Sixty-Five More Los Angeles Placenames In Search Of Their Origins

November 14, 2013 in East Side, History, Hollywood, LA, Long Beach, San Gabriel Valley, SoCal, South Bay, The Valley, West Side

Inspired by Militant Angeleno’s awesome “88 Suburbs In Search Of Their Names” post from last week and equipped with the indispensable “1500 California Place Names” by William Bright, I decided to crack the latter open and see if I couldn’t add to the former’s impressive list of suburbs ‘n stuff. Turns out I could. Some are almost too obvious or well known to mention (Century City? Duh) and some are about as obscure as it gets (Lamanda Park?), but I mention them anyway — and there are a few that are pretty cool (check out the the 220-year-old typo that is Point Dume and the darkness that lurks behind the meaning of “Verdugo”).

So without further to-do, here’s my 65 supplemental places (64 in Los Angeles County and a 471-year-old one just up PCH in Ventura County). Enjoy!

Angeles National Forest: So named in 1908 because the larger part of the forest is within Los Angeles County.

Antelope Valley: Named not for a true antelope, but for the pronghorn (pictured) — the fastest land mammal in the Western Hemisphere — which was once abundant in the state.

Ballona Creek: From the Ballona land grant of 1839; probably a misspelling of Bayona, the name of a town in Spain.

Bel-Air: Named for its developer, Alphonso Bell, in 1923, on the model of French bel air, meaning “fresh air.”

Bouquet Canyon: A misinterpretation of Spanish El Buque, “the ship,” the nickname of a French sailor who settled there.

Brentwood: Named after Brentwood in Essex, England, the ancestral home landowner John Marsh.

Cahuenga Pass: From the Gabrielino village name kawé’nga, probably meaning “at the mountain.”

Canoga Park: Named in the 1890s after Canoga, New York, which was originally a Cayuga (Iroquoian) village.

Castaic: From Ventureño Chumas kashtiq, “the eye, the face”.

Centinela Creek: From the Spanish word for “sentry, sentinel.”

Century City: Named for 20th Century Fox film studios, on the site of which it was built, starting in 1961.

Chatsworth: Named in 1887 after the estate of the Duke of Devonshire in England.

Chilao: Formerly Chileo or Chilleo, a nickname of the herder Jose Gonzales, famous for killing a grizzly bear near here with only a hunting knife. Chil- what? Yeah, me too. It’s primarily a campground area waaay up in the Angeles National Forest.
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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.

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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 →