Vacation went well, thanks, and I hope to write about that soon (although two of my three columns this week are already committed to time-sensitive topics, so this might be tricky). In short, though, good food, some culture, a lot of walking, a lot of transit, a visit to the LBJ Presidential Library and a fascinating boat tour to watch the bats leave the Congress Avenue bridge at dusk.
What did I miss around here?
Above are John Fatini’s penny bottles. Friday’s column starts with an item on two other local men who save pennies and a third who makes a game of picking up change. After that, a long list of Culture Corner items and a plug for this blog.
Most Fresh & Easy stores remain open after their September 2013 sale, but a handful closed, and some had closed last year as the chain struggled. Upland is home to one shuttered location, and Ontario to two.
The closed one in Upland — at Foothill and San Antonio, seen above — won’t come back as a grocery because a Sprouts market is going in next door into a former Office Max. (Upland also has an operating Fresh & Easy on Mountain and Eighth.)
The real-estate market has by and large turned empty Mervyns into Kohls, and Circuit Citys, Price Clubs and theaters into churches and gyms. It’s still trying to repurpose Borders stores (the one in Montclair now sells furniture) and closed Best Buys, like ones in Ontario and Chino Hills.
What to do with these empty 10,000-square-foot Fresh & Easy markets?
Suggesting I write about this, a friend came up with a list of potential uses that, coincidentally I’m sure, mirror my interests: “Used book stores, comic book shops, frozen custard joints, art house cinemas, pie shops, a lunch spot where all waitresses wear glasses, bowling alleys…” Be still my heart!
Any further ideas, fanciful or not, for these vacant spaces?
Inland Empire Weekly, launched in 2006, has ceased publication. I pay tribute in Friday’s column. Above, the Glass House Record Shop in Pomona still has copies of recent issues.
(Wes Woods took the photo for me; when I visited the Arts Colony Thursday morning, any business that had copies wasn’t open yet. I could see copies through the windows at the record shop, New York Deli and dba 256. Sob!)
Wednesday’s column shares that Ken Jennings will appear at Upland’s Carnegie building Friday evening. After that come items on cultural events, a Claremont official’s encounter with a deer, a weird crime and the Deja Vu club near Montclair. If it’s not immodest to say, I like my headline.
Sunday’s column has an update on DTLA Cheese and seven items on various cultural events and general news, as well as a plug for this blog, which wasn’t aimed at you. You’re here already, aren’t you?
Incidentally, when I stopped by DTLA Cheese, I took a photo with my phone purely for Twitter purposes. It was only later in the week that I thought, “Huh, the shop could lead off an items column, and I do have a photo.” If I could do it over again, though, I would take a better picture…
Three random media products I enjoyed in a one-week span — a music DVD, a CD and a movie DVD — all turned out to have low-key links to the Inland Valley. I also present three culture corner items and cop to two mistaken word choices in previous columns — oops. All this is in Sunday’s column.
Many of these items, you might be curious to know, were written for last Sunday’s column but were crowded out due to news about the Big Boy train and the media’s confusion about precisely where Glendora is located. But they kept.
Mrs. Unruh, as she’s billed, owns Mount Baldy’s Buckhorn Lodge, where she performs with a band on weekends, doing torch songs, country songs and showtunes. She’s the widow of Jesse Unruh, who before his 1987 death was one of California’s most prominent legislators. The lodge will be closing soon. I sit in on a performance for Friday’s special-length column.
Watch 45-second videos of her here and here.
Sunday’s column comments on the geographical gaffes on Glendora’s location during the fire coverage, shares news about the Big Boy train’s impending move and visits the Scripps College ceramics show at the American Museum of Ceramic Art.
I wrote a while back about my habit of picking up spare change, even pennies. Friday’s column is a belated followup based on the responses, including a San Antonio Heights man, Dennis Wiskus, who’s been saving pennies out of pocket change since 1969 — and hasn’t stopped.
Watch a 45-second video of Wiskus and his pennies here.