It’s been March for a long time and seemingly will always be March. I write about the strange, endless month in Sunday’s column. (And also solicit your stories about hand washing and about co-workers past who didn’t do it.)
“I want to root you on as you try to pull through this situation,” says Upland native Loraine Hemingway, who now lives in China and whose city of 2 million recently emerged from a two-month coronavirus lockdown with only one death. We exchange emails and the result is my Friday column.
Reader Harry Wright emails about a favorite topic here on the blog, the long-gone Midway Bar in Montclair, just past Claremont on Foothill Boulevard:
“The Midway was a flourishing establishment when I arrived at the Claremont Colleges in the fall of 1967. An extremely liberal attitude regarding proper identification ensured a regular clientele of baby-faced collegians. Both the Midway and the nearby eatery Stinkys were convenient to the colleges and for bikers speeding up and down Foothill between Pomona and San Bernardino. A belly full of greasy burgers from Stinkys then the Thursday night special — 50-cent pitchers at the Midway — was a stellar evening for the economy minded.
“There was an uneasy truce between the school boys and bikers that at times boiled over, resulting in fists flying, but never weapons, at least that I witnessed. Law enforcement visits were infrequent, but spurred a mad dash of college kids out the back or standing on the seat in a toilet stall, while an older patron also in the stall could exit if summoned by the cop to present proper ID.”
The world is always in need of stellar evenings for the economy minded. Thanks for the note, Mr. Wright.
In which I get a coffee in downtown Pomona, sit on a bench in the sun and get a column out of it.
It seemed every restaurant meal last week would be my last, until, finally, lunch in Chino Hills last Wednesday really was it. I write about several last lunches and one last dinner in Sunday’s column.
I took a walk Tuesday afternoon around Claremont’s downtown, where a longtime store owner was about the close for two weeks, a bakery had sold out of bread and an ex-Byrd was trying to return a library book. The result of my ramble is a casual, observational Friday column.
In 2020 I’d managed to post a Restaurant of the Week every Thursday like clockwork. That was possible after putting in a full day early in January writing 3 1/2 of them, and then writing one a week after that. That gave me enough of a cushion that even on vacation I didn’t skip posting one. I wondered if I could keep the streak going a full calendar year.
Of course that was before everything changed. As I write this Wednesday morning, from the comfort of my sofa, I have two ROWs ready to go, with notes on one or two more. But with L.A. County restaurants ordered closed except for takeout or delivery, and S.B. County restaurants likely to follow, what’s the point?
Part of the pleasure of writing them is the ambience of the restaurant. I generally end the post with an interior photo. The posts are designed around the restaurant experience, not the takeout or delivery experience.
For now, I’ve postponed the posts, scheduling the two already written for May 7 and 14, which can be changed forward or backward as the situation changes. Let me know what you think.
I manage to celebrate my birthday with friends over what was a very strange weekend for us all. Coronavirus conversation dominates, I take in one last movie and then go to a friend’s half-empty wedding party. That chronicle makes up Wednesday’s column.
They still sell newspapers — and magazines, and books — at Newsboy Books, a mainstay of downtown Ontario since 1957. I write about the store that time forgot in Sunday’s column. Above, owners Roberta and Jack Gingold.
Remember the old caboose in Montclair that in recent years sat in a plaza by the Monte Vista Avenue onramp to the 10 Freeway? It’s trundled out of town, donated to the Rail Giants Train Museum at Pomona’s Fairplex. I write about that in my virus-free Friday column.