Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Will the real Goddess of Pomona please stand up

A friend told me today they heard I dressed up in a costume and attended David Allen's booksigning the other day. Not this Goddess of Pomona. And I wasn't the Goddess of Pomona that rode in a car draped with a Goddess of Pomona banner for the Xmas parade a few years ago either. Rather, I was the Goddess of Pomona standing on the parade sidelines without an umbrella in the rain that year.

I was trying to explain to my friend today that I don't hold a corner on the market for being the Goddess of Pomona. I just happen to own the domain name, and the email addy on gmail, yahoo and mail.com. There are tons of us here in Pomona doing what we can to make the place better, even though you won't see us win awards or necessarily dress up in costume.

I am glad another Goddess of Pomona brought such enthusiasm to David Allen's book signing event. And I'm kind of relieved I didn't go because showing up in the same outfit as someone else may have been, well, kind of embarrassing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Final Pay Phone Booth

Salon online magazine bemoaned the death of phone booths, even in the Mojave Desert. Perhaps it is not surprising to anyone who read the news over the weekend: the last pay phone in Pomona stands

at Alvarado and Garey, to the side of the Pomona Auto Lodge.

Today's post is not about pointing out that Pomona's last pay phone exists, but trying to make the best of it since it does. And no, I didn't get out of my car to take this picture!

To fight the crime they attract, cities have made phone booths into public art, like aquariums.

Enterprising business people have even turned them into kiosks, like this dog and bone pub.

Someone told me other cities fight crime by giving their problem residents vouchers for the Pomona Auto Lodge. This is consistent with who appears to be using Pomona's Final Pay Phone Booth. The problem is folks don't appear to be dialing someone to take them back home.

My husband told me "social policy," has pre-determined that corner will be a crime magnet. I've not the time to sort it all out, but I did have an idea.

The Final Pay Phone Booth Book Exchange.

Here's how it works: During daylight hours when the coast is clear of murder investigations and drunk dialers, leave a book by the phone. If enough books are left, feel free to borrow a book from those left by others. Repeat the cycle. A sign might be nice too. Together we can make an honest woman out of Pomona's Last Pay Phone Booth. Or at least encourage reading at that corner.

It could always be worse. According to this 2007 google maps photo, Pomona's Final Pay Phone Booth used to have a partner in crime.

Pomona's Final Pay Phone Booth: give her some love today.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pomona Growth

Today's photograph is of the Center Street Community Garden, with the Monterey Station Luxury apartments growing in the background.

Apparently this image is only temporary since the City owns the community garden land and word is they plan to sell it.

If the Center Street Community Gardens gets uprooted (which I really hope they don't!), perhaps the dirt and gardens can be moved to the empty gravel lot across from the Pomona Library parking lot on Garey. The set up could be sort of like this Atlanta Veterans Farmer's Market, but leaving the gravel area larger, so the lot can still be used by the City for overflow parking.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Crepe Myrtle Festival on Garey

A happy ending to the mystery of why hundreds of trees were chopped down on South Garey Avenue. According to an engineer with the City, the old trees were breaking up the sidewalks, so the City redid the concrete and intends to replace each and every of the 300 some trees they took out.

If you drive down Garey this week, you will see the newly planted crepe myrtle trees, as well as holes where more are slated to go in.

Not sure if all of this will warrant a crepe myrtle festival, but dang if the street doesn't look so much better already!

Some facts about crepe myrtles: they are deciduous (lose their leaves in the winter), bloom in the summer, drought tolerant after a couple years, fast growers to 10 feet tall, fairly disease resistant (most susceptible to mold).

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lonely Bike Rack

Today's photo is of a lonely bike rack in Pomona in search of a bike path. It makes pretty cool public art in the meantime.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Trader Joelessness

There's been a bright red Trader Joe's shopping cart in Lincoln Park for a few days. This seems like some distance for it to come, given that there are no Trader Joe's in all of Pomona (the fifth largest city in L.A. County.)

I wrote a post about my own Trader Joe's envy a few years back. My post actually got picked up by the Los Angeles Times blog.

While most places are clamoring to get a Trader Joe's, members of a community in Portland, Oregon successfully convinced Trader Joe's not to come there.

I suppose it's better to have no hope of a Trader Joe's than to think it's a done deal that you're getting one, only to find out you're not. And poor Upland: they had a Trader Joe's for years, only to have it up and close on them recently. My point is I'm coping with Trader Joelessness just fine.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Yoga with Celebrity Moms in Pomona

So at the Art WAlk last night, people were asking around if Edward James Olmos was really going to be there. Turns out he sent his mom Eleanor Huizar instead. That's actually kinda sweet. And yes, she looks just like him.

Christine Devine showed up, as she tweeted as much and someone at the art walk was bragging about taking a selfie with her.

The biggest news of the art walk, however, was that Pomona's first yoga and meditation studio is coming to downtown 2nd Street. Open Door will open their doors August 15. Their new space is located on the north side of the street, between Garey and Thomas. If you look in the windows, you can already see the dark hardwood floor they've laid down. I met the founder and abyss Melanie Yetter last night, where she and her staff were giving out free sticks of incense.

A yoga and meditation studio will be a nice addition to Pomona, even if you won't find Edward James Olmos downward dogging on the yoga mat next to you anytime soon. You may want to keep an eye out for Eleanor Huizar though. People who come to Pomona from other places tend to fall in love with the place. Guess that's why I'm still here 11 years later.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Enlightenment, Redwoods and Edward James Olmos in Pomona

One can find many interesting and unexpected things in Pomona.

Just four examples:

1. Enlightenment and tranquility.

Just ask Monica Woo, who wrote about finding it at Middleland Chan Monastery.

2. A Nationally-recognized Grove of Redwoods

At over 200 trees, it's supposed to be one of the largest collections of redwoods in the world! The Soroptomist Club of Pomona and Claremont help it grow and stay healthy.

3. Actor Edward James Olmos

Who will be at the Pomona Arts Walk tonight. And no, it's not to reprise his role as Montoya Santana. Just stop it!

Edward James will be receiving an award as part of the Don't Sleep Festival at Pomona's Latino Arts Museum.

4. Los Angeles TV news anchor Christine Devine.

Christine will also be receiving an award tonight. This is hardly her first time in Pomona, having written an article earlier this year about the fun she had at Pomona's Art Walk.

Friday, July 11, 2014

We Got Signs

My household's latest tagline for Pomona is "City of Signs" or the catchier "Sign City."

With all these signs about town, it's not surprising that Pomona is home to a few sign companies.

The oldest is Williams Sign Co., located between First and Second Streets east of downtown. The Williams' building is pristinely painted and decorated with awesome examples of their signage. Apparently Williams does the signs for In N Out. In N Out Burger that is.
I clarify because Pomona is also home to "In N Out Pomona Smog Check" at 1711 Holt Street. Last year, the owner there was nice enough to get me in and out at 4 p.m. on a Saturday.

While In N Out Pomona Smog Check's facilities are not quite as pristine as Williams, the place does have a certain Holt Street mystique.

If you go there, tell them you heard about them on the blog. I'm sure they won't have any idea what you are talking about.

Pomona has a new neon sign company on Garey, across the street from Pomona Flowers.

Pomona Flowers is home to one of my favorite Pomona signs, especially when one or another of the letters is burnt out to spell different words.

Dynamic Grafix at the corner of Jefferson and Garey makes signs. Really nice owner who supports the community and apparently U.C.L.A.

Lastly, Impact Signs out on Temple Street somewhere. Their motto and website is simply We Got Signs. The same can be said about Pomona.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

R is for Roman Goddess and Recyling Plant Fire

Yesterday there was a fire at a Recycling plant in Pomona. That makes two Recycling plant fires in Pomona this year alone, as there was one in Janauary too.

If you were outside yesterday morning, you probably smelled a rubbery chemical in the air. Not surprisingly, the hazardous material unit was called to the fire. But still no announcement of exactly what hazardous substance we were all breathing in yesterday. Nor was there any assurance we were not.

One of the reasons I write the blog is because there is often no follow up to things that go on in Pomona, (especially things that don't pass the smell test). The L.A. Times rarely reaches this far inland for too long after the gun shots ring out. And the Daily Bulletin doesn't really have an investigative reporter.

The Daily Bulletin does have columnist, Claremont-man-about-Pomona, and friend of this blog David Allen. David just published his first book, "Pomona A to Z."

In David's own words:

"R is for Roman goddess, who brings classic touch to Pomona."

The last thing I want is for David to update his book and replace Roman goddess with "Recycling plant fire." So here's to keeping Pomona classic, old school and Recycling plant fire free!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Pomona Lost and Found

Such is the ying yang of life, that now there are posters around Pomona for this "FOUND DOG." With a 'do like that, I'm sure someone is looking for this female cocker spaniel.

This place goes into the FOUND category: Brothers Afrik Market, coming soon to Towne Avenue, just north of Holt. I don't recall seeing another African goods marketplace in Pomona - although we may have LOST one along the way.

Brothers is located across the street from Zainabia, which is another place I have always wondered about. I just googled it and FOUND out Zainabia is an Islamic Society.

This building at the corner of Palomares and Holt goes into the LOST category in that it doesn't seem to know if it is open or shut. I drive past the Dept. Stores Outlet every day and for years have never figured out why there is inventory on the shelves, giving the hint of life, yet no obvious signs it is open for business.

Over time, the fabric awning at the back of the building gets more and more tattered, making the graffiti on said awning appear bigger and bigger.

Please someone help me solve this mystery of which category to put this building into.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Pink Elephants and a Fertilitree in Pomona

Driving through the intersection of White and 2nd, I thought I spied a pink elephant in the alley.

Driving into the alley for a closer look, it turns out there are four of them, not exactly dancing, kind of a little grumpy and crossing Abby Road! Grumpy or not, they sure cheer up that empty field and alleyway.

Speaking of public art, awhile back this artist named Damien Jones contacted me about helping him raise money to erect a 15 foot "Fertilitree" in front of AMOCA (the American Museum of Ceramic Art). As you can see, Damien has raised $8K towards his goal, but as of yet the fertilitree can not be seen amidst our forest of cultural revitalization here in Pomona.

If you did donate, you get a small FertiliSeed sculpture and/or your name on the actual Fertilitree statue! Damien describes the Fertilitree as having no branches or leaves, but "fulfilling her purpose of bearing fruits of inspiration, wonder and pleasure in the hearts of all who see her." Fertilitree will provide yet another reason to drive down Garey as opposed to Towne. Go Fertilitree!!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Lost Pomeranian in Pomona

I saw these posters up all over Lincoln Park and beyond today. There is nothing worse than when our furry friends are missing. Please keep an eye out for this sweet girl.

Awhile back there were posters all over Pomona, and I mean ALL over Pomona for another small white dog named Osito. Does anyone know if Osito was ever found?

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Good Day Pomona

In case you haven't heard, Pomona was featured on Good Day L.A. this week.

Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

The second segment should be here (unless I screwed up):

Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Claremont was featured on Good Day L.A. last week. For the sake of comparison, that clip is here:

Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Definitely two different cities with much different vibes. Pomona wins in the youth and enthusiasm department!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Clean Air. In Pomona?

Clean Air Pomona is a group of young people who want to have Pomona parks designated as no smoking zones. Cleaner air in our parks would not only keep Pomona kids healthier, but serve to deter fires during what promises to be an explosive Summer. It would also discourage drug users and sellers from hanging out at our local parks, since the vast majority (approximately 71%) are also cigarette smokers.

The Clean Air Pomona website says it best:

"Currently, 38 other cities in LA County and 16 across the San Gabriel Valley enjoy smoke-free parks. Pomona is a beautiful and vibrant community that should NOT be the exception!"

I can't speak for other parks, but I know in Lincoln Park there are too many times when the cigarette smoke blows from the west part of the park into the playground area. Plus there are tons of butts, put out in the leaves and needles right next to the tree trunks.

Or when someone actually sets up shop smoking on the benches around the playground.

The most popular cigarette package I see left behind at Lincoln park is Swisher Sweets Cigarillos. I figured 80 year old men were the ones smoking them, but recently found out Swishers are extremely popular with teenagers due to their cheap price (two cigarillos for $1.19). So no smoking at the park would also discourage teenage smoking. The pictured package which was at the park yesterday is grape flavored!

If you would like to stay informed about Clean Air Pomona's continued efforts, you can email them from their website.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Will the Pomona YMCA be a film school?

Easily the most iconic building in town, the YMCA building is key to any downtown revitalization. According to this article, the building was sold to an international fine arts school. I keep hearing that the Y is slated to become a film school, with a sister school already operating in China. I've never been able to confirm this tho. Thanks to Frank Darrah's blog for today's photos.

This 1924 photo shows a group of children on the south side steps of the Y. It will be nice to see the building taken over by children and students once again.

In other 909 film news, an announcement about the upcoming 909 film festival, run by Pomona resident Eddie Gonzalez of 909junkie.com:

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Pomona YMCA Getting a Facelift

Yet more promising activity on Monterey this morning. Someone is replacing the boarded up windows on the bottom, south side of the YMCA with square block glass that matches the period of the building.

And this shot is of the stained glass windows on the north side of the building.

Hope to bring you more good news on Monterey as it happens.

As for the Monterey contingency of the Pomona Motorhome Collective...

Still there.