Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thinking Positive in Pomona

I'm sure I'm not the only Pomonian feeling black and blue from the beating we've been taking in the press for the past week.

I don't have the time, energy, much less the heart, to do links to the various news stories. The basic run down for those of you who have been out of the country is that Pomona has been determined to be the least likely place to find love, the best place to develop smoker's lung and the worst place to conduct a thorough search of a van containing a dead body. We also ended our month long murderless streak with a bang: three separate murders in one day. This is not to even mention the recent stabbing on Alvarado and Palomares that hasn't hit the newswires, but has certainly hit home with Lincoln Park block clubs.

We've seen better news days. Hence today's feeling-the-love photographs of Pomona lovebirds, courtesy of wedding photographer Bumatay Studio and photographer Louis Palos. Check out the whole spread here and here, proving once again that not all that happens in Pomona's alleys and fire escapes is bad. Of course, I can not say the same about the vans and motorhomes.

Yesterday, while I was driving down Garey, I saw two other love birds making out on the wall in front of Juan Pollo. It is often hard to reconcile the Pomona I experience each day with the one I read about in the paper.



Anonymous said...

here's for thinking positive about this poor place...murder, gangs, drug sales going on across the street at this moment (yes, I called the police 20 minutes ago, but I think they are busy with a stabbing a couple of blocks away) and the Historic Commission holds an unannounced (check the Pomona city e newsletter - no mention) 4 1/2 hour meeting to discuss window violations? This place is bizarre, out of whack and totally broken. Good luck Pomona. Can't wait to move and save my child's life by getting him the heck out of this sick, sad town. And yes, I've been involved! Oh forgot to mention...I live in the sacred Lincoln Park.

linknpark said...

Wow anonymous, you just described every city in Los Angeles County, including "Bungalow Heaven" Pasadena. Not to mention Orange County. Did you ever visit Old Town Orange in the 1980' was crap. Drugs gangs and the like, similar to parts of Santa Ana now. All that we can do is try to improve the area, and I think the momentum is headed in the right direction.

John Clifford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Clifford said...

Thanks Linknpark for saying what I would have said.

Also, anonymous, see my post on M-M-M-My Pomona regarding the 4.5 hour meeting on windows (actually on three different issues).

The improvements in LP since it became a historic district are immense. Where we once saw beautiful older homes with garbage on the front porch, multiple cars in various stages of disrepair in the driveways, long-deferred maintenance (a polite way of saying run-down), and seedy looking people hanging around, we now see a pride in the neighborhood. Yes, there are still problems, but we are moving in the right direction.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ed said...

I think you could have described my house in a little better light than that. I'm trying to clean it up!

Why is it I get the boring part of Lincoln Park? I have less crime here than I did in Northern Claremont.

Can you give us a rough idea of where you think the problem areas are in the Lincoln Park area?

Anonymous said...


Curious to hear what brought you here in the first place? And why haven't you left, we definitely don't need neighbors like you!

me said...

I've felt your same frustration in relation to the ne'er-do-wells at the park. Those frustrations were one of the reasons for the blog. It felt better to sound off and try to reach out to others who felt the same, than to throw my hands in the air.

Like Ed, I'm curious about where you are too. Perhaps do to my location in LP, I'm insulated. Do the murders and gangs really affect you here, or is it just that you are tired of the constant drug deals you see, combined with what you hear about? Do you have an active block club? Do you have emails or a phone tree of neighbors.

As for the window thing, well I'm a big believer in beautification leading to greater changes in a community.

Pomona's government is broken. WE basically have no representation right now. But I think the obviousness of this has finally reached a point of such absurdity that things are going to change.

I extend an invitation for you to write more, if you are still out there. I think everyone here cares about keeping good people in the neighborhood.

G of P

John Clifford said...

Wow, we've been spammed!

Anonymous 11:15 am: Think up a clever pseudonym so we can resond to you. Well said in your response to anonymous 10:55 pm.

I'm always amazed at people who buy an older house, in an old neighborhood, and then want to "modernize" it. That's why we've created historic districts, so that future people who love historic buildings will have a place where they can own a little bit of history themselves.

If you want new, there are plenty of places in Ontario, Fontana, etc. where you can get the latest and greatest and no one will bother you at all.

linknpark said...

I think most of us are in this neighborhood because we appreciate what it is and what it has the potential to be. It has problems, but we need to be part of the solution, individually, as well as through the political process. As far as preservation, im all for it, thats why I moved here. Im currently shredding all of the random 80's updates in our house and returning it to original.

calwatch said...

Every block is different. We don't have a block club (I end up meeting most of the neighbors on Halloween night, except the ones I met have moved out). There are a decent number of homes for sale now or have been on the market and are occupied by renters. The "block captain" for neighborhood watch took down our phone numbers and we never heard from her again. It's a block by block struggle. I don't think you see much in the way of community south of Alvarado, for instance, although some of the more involved Heritage people do live there. I don't know why that is. Maybe its a language barrier, maybe its an age barrier, but it is kind of odd.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I never thought I would see it in print. A comment about THOSE people south of Alvarado! We have always joked about the snobs north of Alvarado, but never really believed they actually felt that way about us. Ha Ha!
Yes, we are south of Alvarado and we actually do have a real sense of community. And, no, there is no language barrier. I guess the poster thinks that south of Alvarado is a different country? Yikes!

There is one horrible thing that has happened recently to destroy our sense of peace in the neighborhood. We walked out yesterday morning to observe two Lincoln Park squirrels, having sex, up in the tree, in plain site of my two young girls! The south of Alvarado community should be outraged at this. Sex in public! What's next? Opossums sleeping on park benches?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Funny that some of you (particularly the capital letter comments - does that mean you are screaming?) seemed to think anonymous was talking about preservation of historic houses. It seems to me you didn't read, or at least think about what was written. The comments from anonymous were about crime and priorities, and I believe, that we live in an unsafe city for children. If you think it is safe in Pomona for children - safe from gangs, speeding cars (including police cars), drug/prostitution goings on, and terrible schools, then you're living in a different city than I.
And yes, I agree that we have been making progress in this community.

John Clifford said...

I find the last anonymous' post interesting. Where is the mythical place that doesn't have the crime, speeding cars, drug sales, etc.

Is it Monrovia? No, they just had a series of gang related murders, perhaps Ontario or Montclair? No, they seem to have a lot of murders too, as well as high-speed chases.

I get it, we need to all move to somewhere like Virginia? Oh, yes, that's where the VT shootings took place. So maybe rural Illinois in the middle of the country? Oh, Northern Illinois University shootings.

All we can do is hope and work for the progress that you've admitted that we're making. In the meantime, isn't it also a good idea to try and improve our neighborhoods at the same time? While public safety is, a priority, should we just abandon things like preserving historic neighborhoods?

It appears that the first anonymous commenter feels that we shouldn't spend any time (4.5 hours) on window violations. But if we do manage to make the city safe, will the city be a place we would want to live? Or do we ignore rules and neighborhoods, and allow the city to become an ugly slum in the interim.

Those of us in historic preservation look at places like Pasadena and hope to be able to have neighborhoods that people long to move into. Where those who want to live in an older home with some history to it, can afford to do so. We're not anti-public safety (as a matter of fact most of us are also involved in one way or another in supporting police, fire, and other safety issues).

It's too bad that GofP's attempt to shine a positive light on our city has been taken as a forum for bashing this place that we all want to make better. That we want to feel good about. That we want to be HOME! (sorry for the bold all caps but I AM shouting it).

calwatch said...

"Anonymous", you miss the point. YOUR block south of Alvarado may be doing well. My block in the Lincoln Park area doesn't. There are several houses for sale on the block that haven't moved (two of whom gave up and are renting their places). I've been here for many years, our elderly neighbors have been there about two decades longer, but otherwise, people turn over at a decent pace. There is a REO across the street that has dropped 40% of its value in the last two years. I drove around on Halloween and you can tell which blocks are the more community-oriented ones and which ones aren't. Our block is almost all dark, but two or three streets over there might be bumper to bumper traffic. The point is that Lincoln Park, or indeed any neighborhood, is NOT homogeneous and each individual street is different. After all, just a half mile away, Ethan Esparza got killed, yet despite the more private nature of our block, I don't feel unsafe.

me said...

Pasadena: totally overrated.

Pomona: totally underrated.

I can't stop gang member A from killing gang member B.

I can fight to keep the neighborhood looking good, as well as investigate how our broken City government can be fixed.

G of P (all caps are so 80's anyway!)

Bumatay said...

I happen to love Pomona. For taking pictures that is. I hope everything remains the same for a long time - the not too busy streets, the old brick alleys, the multi colored walls, the dirty curbs, and the abandoned feeling. I'll keep coming back for more pictures!