About David Allen

A journalist for nearly 30 years, David Allen has been chronicling the Inland Valley for the Daily Bulletin since 1997 and blogging since 2007. His first book, "Pomona A to Z," was published in 2014. E-mail David here. Read recent columns here.

Wall of hot dog fame

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On a visit to Windy C’s Chicago Hot Dogs in Upland last year, owner Freddy Johnson insisted on taking my photo and adding it to his wall of celebrities, many of them Chicago-based. He printed out the photo and had me sign it on the spot.

Faced with a photo of myself that would be framed on a wall for all to see for some time to come, I was put in mind of the “Seinfeld” episode in which a coffee shop waitress asked Jerry to sign a photo of himself and he wrote “Nothing could be finer than eating in your diner”; after Elaine mocked him, he tried to grab the photo back. With trepidation, I wrote “Hot dog! This Illinois boy loves the Wrigley,” the name of the menu item I was eating: a dog with sauerkraut and cheese (pictured below).

I returned for lunch recently, the first time since the photo. Eyeballing the inscription, I didn’t feel the urge to grab it back or hide my head. But then, Elaine wasn’t there to shame me.

(My Restaurant of the Week post from 2011 on Windy C’s has particularly entertaining comments, by the way.)

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Column: Housewife was a leader in Pomona civic life

Sunday’s column is mostly about Beth Page, a volunteer active in Pomona from the 1940s until her recent death at 103. Also: cultural notes, a plug for this blog and an Inland Valley motorcycle chase that made news in LA, NYC and the UK.

About Beth, I knew her a little and interviewed her once, making a tribute item a natural. A photographer searched our archives for photos of her and came up with one, which looked familiar to me. Evidently I took it myself to accompany my December 2006 column on her, but it didn’t run with the column, probably for space reasons. It was satisfying to get it into print and online this time. It only took eight years.

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Column: Documentary paints picture of Claremont art scene

A documentary, “Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-1975,” has its world premiere Sunday in Claremont (where else?). Friday’s column gives the details on that and a quick primer on the theme. Also, there are two cultural notes, and an item about an Ontario walking tour Saturday. I’ll be there selling my book.

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Restaurant of the Week: Wahfles

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Wahfles, 1502 Foothill Blvd. (at Wheeler), La Verne; also 5751 N. Pine Ave. (at Butterfield), Chino Hills

My colleague Pete Marshall alerted me to the existence of Wahfles, a dessert and coffee house in La Verne, which opened in February. It turns out the original opened a year ago in Chino Hills. It’s a mom-and-pop. One recent morning I ventured to the La Verne location, which is in the Vons center, for breakfast.

Well, it’s not really a breakfast spot. (It’s no Waffle House.) They have some lunch waffle sandwiches and dessert waffles. Other than a coffee bar, the only thing that works for breakfast is one waffle. I had that: the Breakfast Sammy ($4.45), with ham, Swiss, fried egg, mayo and honey mustard. It was cut in half and could be eaten like a sandwich. And was. Very good.

I liked the vibe of the place: dark wood tables, rugs, some leather chairs, a sofa, a coffee table, magazines to read and locally produced art on the walls. So I returned one afternoon for a dessert waffle, the kind that make up the rest of the menu.

Mine had speculoos (described as “cookie butter” — what’s not to like?), bananas, ice cream, whipped cream and cinnamon sugar ($4.45 for a half, $5.95 for a full; I got the half). Delicious. Rather than get a fancy beverage, I cheaped out with a free water from a dispenser on the counter.

Wahfles (there’s an umlaut over the “a,” incidentally) is a neat addition to the area. Their website has a menu.

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‘Bar Rescue’ now in Upland

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A hookah bar at 1276 W. Seventh St. in Upland is the latest site for a makeover by the “Bar Rescue” reality-TV series. The Palace, which has had several names over the years, is undergoing its “stress test” tonight (Wednesday) before closing under its current look. After the show’s usual blitz remodel, the new look will be unveiled Saturday.

It was just Sunday that the episode aired about Pomona’s Friar Tuck’s, now Stein Haus. But that one was taped last December. Nice to have them back in the 909, and so soon.

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Postcard perfect above Upland

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I was in the northern reaches of Upland on Friday when I decided to eat at Giuseppe’s a little further north in San Antonio Heights. Afterward, at my car, I noticed the church across the street, its white paint and quaint style standing out against the mountain and greenery rising behind it, and had to take a photo.

What sort of church, though: Methodist? Congregational? Nope. A sign identifies it as Elevation of the Holy Cross, Romanian Orthodox Church. Impressive.

Obviously the building predates the current denomination. Nosing around online, I found a copy of the April 2013 issue of the San Antonio Heights community newsletter. It explains that the church began as Community Church in 1906 — although 1916, the date Megan Hutter gives in her “Images of America” history of San Antonio Heights, may be more reliable.

The great-great-grandmother of current resident Barry Turner donated the church to the community. Also, “this was the location of the first stop for trolley cars coming up Euclid Avenue in the early history of San Antonio Heights.”

When the congregation outgrew the building, it served as a chapel and was used for weddings. The building was known as the Chapel of the Wildwood. It was acquired in 2010 by the Romanian Orthodox Church, which was founded in L.A. in 2001. Services apparently began in 2013. They have services Friday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday mornings.

And the church looks lovely 24/7.

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Welcome to San Antonio Heights

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There’s a new welcome sign in San Antonio Heights. It’s at Euclid Avenue and 24th Street, outside the fire station, and as impressed reader Martin Hildreth puts it, the sign gives the corner “presence and impact.” He sent me the above photo and writes:

“Rudy Esparza (Upland) took the photo this morning with the San Antonio Walkers and dogs in force: left to right, Barry Turner (SA Heights), Michael Liu (Ontario), Martin Hildreth (Upland), Stan Dolinski (Upland) and Rusty Cushing (Upland).”

He adds that Supervisor Janet Rutherford is responsible for the sign.

I hope sensitive Heights residents won’t mind that I’ve posted this photo in the “Around Upland” category. After all, the Heights are “around,” i.e., near Upland. Or should I create a new category, “Above Upland”?

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Column: Citrus grove, and way of life, uprooted in Rancho Cucamonga

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Sunday’s column is about the development of the Wilson ranch, a 7-acre property in Alta Loma. A video (with my first attempt at narration) is attached to the online version of my column and can also be seen here.

Above is the view on Friday from Ramona. Below is the nearly identical view from mid-January, when I first visited; below that is the view that same day from Archibald (the “disturbance in the Force” that I mention in the column). Wish I had some “before” pictures.

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