In Wednesday’s column, Rancho Cucamonga’s new library director tells me her impressions of the city and library and offers a few intriguing ideas for the future. She’s a big reader too.
Monthly Archives: May 2017
The Corona na Freeway
Heading south on the 57 Freeway from the 210 through San Dimas, you’ll see a mileage sign that may make you do a double-take — which is appropriate since it’s got a redundancy: “Corona na Fwy.”
I noticed this a while back on my first drive on that route in quite some time and thought, Did I really see that? Then last week, a local official who commutes daily on the 57 happened to email me about it.
He says Caltrans closed the offramp to the 71 (Corona) Freeway a year ago for some work and covered the exit sign. When the offramp was opened and the sign uncovered, “lo and behold, the sign read ‘Corona na Fwy.’ It looks like they put a new Corona sign over the old Corona sign, but didn’t cover the last ‘na’ in the sign underneath,” he says.
That’s the sort of attention to detail we expect from Caltrans. I wonder, though, why the new “Corona” takes up so much less room. Maybe the sign read differently, like “71 Corona Fwy”? Whatever the reason, it’s amazing, but dispiriting, that the mistake has stood there for a year, give or take.
“I keep thinking that one day some Caltrans worker will notice it and tell someone to fix it,” my source says. “But in reality I like it because every time I drive under that sign, I can’t help but giggle thinking that it is a Caltrans tribute to Sha Na Na: Coro Na Na. I also wonder if I’m the only one who notices the sign typo as I’m whizzing by at 75 mph.”
Doubtful. For one thing, traffic rarely moves that fast.
Google Street View, rather hilariously, documents the misspelling, from whence the above image came.
Photo: Lisa McPheron
In Chino Hills last Wednesday, 21 people gave up an evening to listen to a newspaper guy blab, a pretty good showing in the scheme of things. I talked about my career, read selections from “Pomona A to Z” and “Getting Started,” and fielded questions on all manner of subjects, from social media and libel to restaurants, politics and music. It was fun.
My friend Lisa McPheron of the Chino Hills Arts Committee, the host, introduced me and gave me a swag bag from the city. It’s almost unheard of that an actual friend as opposed to a complete stranger introduces me, so that was neat. And unprecedented was what happened at the sales table afterward, where my Pomona book outsold my new one, by a single copy. I’m happy it’s still selling.
As you can see below, from a photo I shot as I was being introduced, they were a little optimistic when they set out chairs, bless their hearts.
Column: Better late than never, a toast to Jimmy Breslin
I promised a column on Jimmy Breslin a month ago, and Sunday’s is it, shoehorned in on a holiday weekend.
Column: Log Lady had own message from beyond on ‘Twin Peaks’
Scripps alumna Catherine Coulson managed to appear in the first two episodes of the “Twin Peaks” revival, which aired last Sunday, as she was dying in 2015. Other items follow: a reader is surprised to see me; cultural items are noted; and a fond anecdote about a departing Claremont official is resurrected. All in Friday’s column.
Farewell, Rounds Burgers
Rather than a Restaurant of the Week today, let me say goodbye to one of my regular haunts, Rounds Burgers in Claremont, which (sob!) closes Sunday (May 28). It’s previously been subject of a RofW post, in 2013.
The fledgling chain started in Claremont and West Hollywood and expanded to Sherman Oaks and Pasadena, but WeHo and, er, SherO have closed. Is Pasadena closing too? The Claremont location appeared to change hands a couple of years ago, leading to an exodus of employees, some of whom ended up next door at the ill-fated The Rim. But I kept eating there.
I never introduced myself to the staff or sought to learn about the business. I’m writing this simply as a regular. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure why I ate there so often.
It was at the south end of Claremont on Auto Center Drive, not in the Village. The burgers were good, but not my favorite. The custom order sheets could be a pain to fill out. Preferred items were dropped: first pesto mayo, which went great with the Swiss and mushroom burger I assembled, then the whole wheat bun, then the pretzel bun.
Once I had a chicken sandwich that was overcooked and rubbery, which put me off ordering it for a while; not long afterward, they phased out pineapple, a favorite topping for the sandwich.
So Rounds wasn’t perfect. But they offered coupons often, and I liked the place aesthetically. It was spacious, with high ceilings, and generally was at least half-empty. For my purposes, it offered a psychic comfort level, where I could take the Sunday paper or a book, relax for 90 minutes with a buffer zone around me, and not worry about anyone needing my table. At rare times when most of the tables were taken, there were two communal tables, often unoccupied, where I could sit in peace.
The benefits of this kind of semi-public space are not to be taken lightly.
Also, despite the shrinking menu, I belatedly found a sandwich I love: the mucho mushroom (my beloved mushroom and swiss combo), but as a turkey burger. Let me say, generally I don’t order turkey burgers, but this one had a better taste than the beef. Better for me, and better tasting? That’s rare.
Last Sunday I ate lunch at Rounds for what is likely the last time, ordering the sandwich I like, and splurging on chili cheese fries as a last hurrah. Consider this post a tribute to a fallen eatery, one where I spent many an hour. Thanks for feeding me and for the use of the space, Rounds.
Column: Back as mayor, but early losses mean it’s no victory lap
I’m finding the Chino City Council to be an interesting group to follow, especially as Eunice Ulloa, mayor again after a long absence, finds herself on the losing end of a string of votes. We sat down for a chat last week that results in Wednesday’s column, a profile of an unusual mayor.
No longer Eating Garey Avenue, now he’s Dining in Pomona
I devoted a column in February to reader and blogger John Clifford’s quest to eat at every Garey Avenue food establishment, just as he neared the finish line. Having now wrapped up his Eating Garey Avenue blog, Clifford now launches Dining in Pomona, a new blog of reviews.
For Eating Garey, he ate at every restaurant, or near-restaurant, on that street in sequence, south to north, with one review each week. For Dining in Pomona, he promises to eat wherever he likes on whatever schedule he likes. Ah, freedom. His first post is about Cachanilla. I’ve added a hyperlink to Dining Garey to the blogroll at right.
Finding the subway
A reader in Upland (hi, Chris!) who has taken Metrolink to Union Station more than once told me she had no idea how to get to the subway and may not have been totally aware it exists. I described its location to her, but on a recent visit, I thought to take photos. Above is a view in the station, Starbucks to the left, Wetzel’s Pretzels to the right. The subway entrance is between them. A closer view is below.
[Update: As reader John Clifford cheekily points out, out of the frame of the photo just to the left of the Starbucks is, what else, a Subway sandwich shop. Subway to the left, subway down below. What a country.]
Despite the sign, both the Red and Purple lines are down there. You take an escalator, stairs or elevator down and there are ticket machines and turnstiles. With your Metrolink ticket, just tap it on the turnstile button; no other ticket is necessary. From there, descend to the subway platform and use the maps to figure out where you should go, paying attention to the train markings for final destinations.
Chris said she thought I’d once promised in print to write all the particulars of taking the train and subway. I don’t recall that, although I did once write a How to Ride post about Metrolink. Walking you through every step in taking a subway or a bus sounds kind of tedious, and probably I’d leave out some crucial step, as in a recipe where an ingredient is missing. But at least you know where the subway entrance is now and you have some guidance once you’re there.
Update: As several of you noted, when you get off Metrolink and descend the stairs into the middle of the low-slung tunnel, running perpendicular, you can walk either left or right. Left takes you first past the Gold Line entrance and then into Union Station and the subway entrance pictured above. Right takes you to the bus center and to the OTHER entrance to the subways. See below. This one is labeled to reflect both the Red and Purple lines, but both are accessible from either entrance.
Column: Visiting remade Nixon Library with 2017 on his mind
I’d idly wanted an excuse to visit the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda since its overhaul in October. With all the comparisons of Trump and Nixon the past week or two, a light bulb went off and I decided now was the time. I visited Wednesday morning and write about the experience in Sunday’s unexpected column. Above, Army One, the helicopter that flew Nixon away from the White House on Aug. 9, 1974.