My recent Restaurant of the Week post about Pomona’s Brick Market and Deli led to an email exchange with a Pomona friend that was unexpected. Reread the post first. It helps to remember that I live in Claremont. First she wrote:
“Interesting review. I’d argue that Pomona is smart and sophisticated as well. Sanctum, The Rookery, Pomona Downtown, The Pomona Art Walk, Vintage Renewals, etc., all have Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’m assuming they are all on Yelp since Yelp is customer-generated.
“I also don’t think Pomona should be more like Claremont. Pomona has a thriving artistic and ethnic culture, and I wouldn’t want that to change. If you walk around the residential neighborhood here at night, people are sitting on their stoops listening to music and laughing. It’s a really dynamic part of Pomona that I truly love!
“I’ve bought quinoa and wasabi peas at WinCo. They probably have the other stuff, but I’ve never checked (never been a big biscotti fan).”
To clarify, when I said The Brick is “active on Yelp,” I meant that management responds to almost every comment, which is unusually pro-active. Anyway, I don’t disagree with anything she wrote, but clearly she didn’t like what I wrote.
Later, she wrote that her email had been “extremely gentle and completely toned down from how truly offended I was by your post.” She said she saw Claremont “snootiness” in this line from the blog post: “They seem like a smart, sophisticated bunch, the kind of business you’d expect to find in Claremont and thus great to see in Pomona.”
Obviously no offense was intended on my part; if anything, readers usually tell me I’m too kind to Pomona and, if they live in Claremont, too hard on my own town. What I was trying to get across, and perhaps failed at, was that what is essentially an organic convenience store, with high-end sandwiches, struck me as the sort of business you’d find in the Village rather than Pomona, and especially not at an intersection with a KFC, a vacant grocery store, a donut shop and a drive-thru burger stand.
But I’m curious if you folks — anyone, but particularly those of you who live in Pomona or used to live there (John, Deb, Ren, Andy, etc.) — were offended or thought I came off as condescending. Be honest. Your thoughts on the Claremont-Pomona dynamic, Pomona gentrification, etc., are welcome as well.