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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

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Hong Kong Supermarket FINALLY opens in Monrovia

July 21, 2013 in Food & Drink, LA, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping


After over a year of delays and general dicking around the Hong Kong Supermarket finally opened.  I am ecstatic.  No more trekking to Alhambra or China Town just for miso paste, thai red chili, or kecap manis (sort of a sweetened soy sauce).  I can get it where I live.  Yahoo…especially handy since we do meatless mondays around here. Read the rest of this entry →

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Dim Sum 101 from the 626 Foodettes

April 25, 2013 in Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley

You may think I’m a little obsessed with the 626 Night Market that shared this video.  I am.  Can’t help it as its one of the biggest cultural events out here in the SGV and its fun too!

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Monrovia Fire: 100% Containment expected by this evening

April 21, 2013 in News, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal

Evacuation orders have been lifted for most neighborhoods in my area, with only 2 streets still under them.  According to the city web, which has done a bang up job of keep us updated, the command for the fire will shift back to the Emergency Operations Center at City Hall this morning.

Where I sit right now there is no visible flames or smoke, with luck the hot spots will be done with and containment will happen sooner.

Isn’t this an early start to the “fire season”?

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Menu Mining: Mayan Bar and Grill coming to Aztec Hotel in Monrovia

April 11, 2013 in Food & Drink, News, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

Mayan Rating system

I recently got to participate in a Chef’s Tasting at the soon to be opened Mayan Bar and Grill here in Monrovia.  The Mayan will be in the historic Aztec Hotel in the space formerly occupied by the Brass Elephant.  It was a fun experience.  Tasting and rating menu items for a new restaurant before it goes public.  The Mayan will focus on Central American cooking a first for my little corner of L.A.

The food was simply pretty terrific.  First up was Ensalada Esmeralda which was a simple mix of roasted chilis and greens tossed with a bright avocado and cilantro dressing.  Next up was a Puerco Mole Verde, or pork medallions in a somewhat spice, but deeply flavored mole sauce.  The last course they gave us was the Tequila Lime Shrimp…with a spicy sweet mango salsa.  All in all I rated them all very highly, made comments where appropriate but really enjoyed the experience.  The new Chef at the Mayan did not disappoint.

Do you want to get in on the tastings too?  Simply friend the Aztec Hotel on FB and watch for their notices and instructions on what to do for the next event.  Its really as simple as noting date, time and emailing the hotels General Manager Art Desaultels that you want to attend.  This Thursday is nearly full and they just added in Friday for another tasting.  They fill fast so act fast. Read the rest of this entry →

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How to eat Xiao Long Bao

April 5, 2013 in Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley

Thanks to the folks at 626 Night Market I now have the answer on how to eat these delicious little bites.  After all these years I’ve learned they aren’t finger foods and double dipped.

More on the 626 Night Market can be found on their web.  Count on hearing more from me about the arrival of this event closer to the first one in June.

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SGV Bloggers picnic Saturday…all are welcome to attend

March 28, 2013 in Blogging (in) LA, Events, Food & Drink, LA bloggers, San Gabriel Valley

5th annual sgv bloggers picnic

Do you write a blog?  Like to read blogs? Like to meet the folks behind a blog?  Well then this annual event is made for you.  There are usually a few dozen local bloggers there and their groupies (not including each other).

This is the 5th annual held at this park, but if you have followed me on blogging.la for a while you will know that we, a large diverse group of us bloggers in the SGV, have been getting together since ’07.  This picnic got going when it was determined we needed to do it annually in one location and blogger Timothy Rutt of the Altadenablog got it all rolling for us.

This is a pot luck affair so bring a tasty bit to share with the group.  Don’t be surprised if it gets blogged too.

Deets: March 30, 2013, 11AM – ???, Farnsworth Park,568 Mt Curve Ave, Altadena, CA 91001  MAP HERE

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4 Arrested in January’s freeway proposal stunt in Covina

March 13, 2013 in Crime, Driving, San Gabriel Valley, Transportation

No matter how cute and romantic it is DON’T POST IT ON YOUTUBE if its illegal

The full details of the arrests is on the KTLA website.  For the life of me I can’t imagine why they posted it on youtube and bragged about it on other social media.  It was just dropping clues as to where they can be found for the arrests.  I give these guys an “A” for creativity, a “C” for the idea to do it on a Sunday morning where traffic is light, and an “F” for getting caught.