Ophelia’s Jump has gambled on presenting the sorts of modern, edgy plays common in LA and uncommon out here, and found success. Now they have a permanent space after bouncing among venues the past six years. I profile the couple behind the group and catch a dress rehearsal of “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)” for Wednesday’s column.
Saturday afternoon I attended not one but two art openings. The first was at the Ontario Museum of History and Art, which is focusing on the latter for “Diversity and Inclusion.” Over four rooms, it’s got paintings, collages, drawings, sculpture, embroidery and probably something I forgot, all offering a look at the African-American experience.
It was well-attended, and at times the galleries were actually crowded. Probably half the attendees were black, a nice sight in Ontario and at a local art event. That and the strong turnout should be encouragement to do more such shows. Besides, most of the art was really strong.
After that, I headed for Cal Poly Pomona for “Positively 4th Street,” an ode in paintings, drawings, assemblages and text to LA’s 4th Street viaduct. It’s a small show, but likewise evocative. Below is Richard Willson’s “The Approach.” He and Roderick Smith did the art and D.J. Waldie provided text and an essay on the bridge’s history. I introduced myself to Waldie and got his autograph in my copy of “Holy Land.”
Find the exhibit on the 4th floor of the University Library through April 12.
All in all, a pleasant, visually stimulating afternoon across two counties.
Sometimes ideas get stashed away until the time is right: a local woman whom I knew had a connection to Mahatma Gandhi. I had hoped to pursue that last August, the 70th anniversary of India’s independence, but ran out of time. But the 70th anniversary of his assassination was another milestone. The woman behind the Upland angle is the subject of Sunday’s column.
A local woman was on “Jeopardy!” on Monday. She used to work here in our newsroom! Not surprisingly, then, she gave me an interview about the experience. After that come six Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette, all in Friday’s column.
The State, 7900 Kew Ave. (in Victoria Gardens), Rancho Cucamonga; open daily
The Redlands gastropub The State (it’s on State Street) has expanded west to Victoria Gardens, where it took over the old Ra Pour space. Three friends and I had lunch there in December.
It’s a large spot with an oblong main dining room and then a patio. (It was a cold afternoon and we didn’t investigate the option when asked “would you like to eat outside?”) There’s a full, elaborate bar with cocktails and more. The motto: Kitchen * Beer * Whisk(e)y.”
Between the concrete floor and the cranked-up music, one friend said: “My first comment: ‘loud.'” We could hear him, though. And as at that point they were playing such soul oldies as “I’m Your Puppet,” “Try a Little Tenderness” and “Kiss and Say Goodbye,” it wasn’t in me to object.
The menu has upscale versions of classic comfort food, but other items too: starters, salads, burgers, sandwiches, main courses and desserts. (One unappealingly named entree is Airline Chicken — although surely it’s a better version.)
Two got the portabella sandwich ($12), one with a salad as the side (free), the other with fries ($1). Both called it “average.” The bread looks great.
Another got steak and egg tacos ($8), which the server cautioned would be small as a main course. The warming proved accurate, although they were enjoyed.
I got the apple harvest salad with chicken ($11 + $4), light and tasty, and some of us shared the poutine ($13), the Canadian comfort food of fries topped with cheese curds, braised short ribs and gravy. That was a real winner. “I would definitely come back” and “delicious” were the comments.
Meanwhile, TVs silently played “Casablanca” — easy enough to fill in the dialogue on that — and other old movies or clips. Nice backdrop. The state of The State is strong.
Milford Zornes, who died at 100 in 2008 in Claremont, is the subject of an art exhibit and a biography by his son-in-law. A day ahead of what would have been his 110th birthday, I write about him in Wednesday’s column.
Significant layoffs, 20 percent or more, will fall in the coming weeks on the newsroom of the Daily Bulletin and the 10 other papers in the Southern California News Group. It’s been widely reported, so I feel comfortable in sharing that. The Times wrote a detailed account last week, which you can read here.
You might be asking: What can I do? Here’s what journalist Luis Gomez wrote:
Ken Doctor, like many journalism experts and practitioners, was recently asked about this conundrum: “What can citizens do?”
And like everyone else, he said what people should do is subscribe to a newspaper. It sounds self-serving, but it’s a simple question of economics. People vote with their wallets. If they don’t buy a subscription, they are essentially telling newspapers that they are not worth keeping around.
A lot of people are essentially telling us that, unfortunately. (I’ve lost track of how many people who recognize me then ask me if I still write for the newspaper.) And we’ve made it easy to tell us that by offering our product online largely for free as we, and other newspapers, tried to figure out whether increased readership would pay for itself via increased advertising. Turns out it, er, didn’t.
Now, I’m hesitant to tell people how they should spend their money, and I’m sensitive to the fact that, like other print publications, we’re charging you more for less content.
Still, paying for the news you’re getting seems only fair. We’re not working for free. A print subscription or a digital one is fine with us, whichever you prefer. It’s a relative bargain, in my eyes, and your support may keep us going. Even a reduced level of local news is better than no local news — right?
Home delivery price on our website is $25 for 28 days — that’s under $1 a day, and cheaper than the newsstand price, and comes with unlimited online access.
An online-only subscription is $10 for 28 days — that’s 28 cents a day, daily and Sunday. Why, that’s like 1970s pricing. You get unlimited access to our website and a web facsimile of each day’s paper, with the ability to read recent past issues. And the carrier won’t throw it under your car.
May we sign you up? Operators, as they used to say in the commercials, are standing by.
Above, a (slightly messy) view of a portion of our office; below, art on the wall of another room.
I wrote a column last month on a Paul R. Williams-designed home in Ontario. Then an opportunity arose to write about the architect’s only other Inland Valley structure, a former post office from 1926, also in Ontario. Local historians installed a plaque on the building last week to highlight its history. I attended and learned not only about the building but about the arts district downtown that has never really taken off, and why. That story is in Sunday’s column. (Also, I give someone the needle. It doesn’t really advance the story, but it felt good.)
I dropped into a Montclair City Council meeting Tuesday and was rewarded with great entertainment. Friday’s column tries to do justice to it. Above, a fresh coat of paint is applied Wednesday to the tower next to the 10 Freeway. (I was about to get on the freeway at Monte Vista, saw the activity and pulled over.)
85 Degrees C Bakery Cafe, 428 Auto Center Drive (at Indian Hill), Claremont; open daily
I’ve been to the Chinese bakery chain 85 Degrees (Celsius) in Chino Hills a few times, which will tell you I like it. One opened up in Claremont last fall, in the Super King center.
Even though I live in Claremont, my lone visit so far was not on my way to work or on a weekend but rather for a workday meal. I was headed to an interview in Claremont at 4 p.m. one day from our Rancho Cucamonga office and needed a quick lunch. It occurred to me that 85 Degrees was right off the freeway and wouldn’t take long.
It’s in a space in the middle of the center that previously housed a couple of Mediterranean restaurants in succession. I was skeptical of how this would work, given that the Chino Hills space is probably four times larger, and with a patio. But the selection of serve-yourself items is about the same size as in Chino Hills. There’s no cake display and far less seating.
I grabbed a tray and tongs and picked up, in clockwise order below, a wheat mushroom roll ($1.65), apple danish ($1.80), pork sung bun ($1.80) and spinach danish ($2), plus a sea salt jasmine tea ($3, not pictured because it arrived after I started eating), paid and took the lone table available. I felt bad taking a table for four, but it was that or eat standing up, and besides, I wasn’t there long.
As always, I liked my items, with the wheat mushroom roll my favorite and the pork sung bun the least. If there were more seating, I would visit more often.
An 85 Degrees opened in December in Rancho Cucamonga. Suddenly, they’re everywhere!