Studio Art Hall, Pomona College

studioarthall1

Pomona College has an ambitious new building, the Studio Art Hall, deemed important enough to be visited and considered by the LA Times’ architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, who called it “absolutely worth visiting, despite the imperfect results. He further says:

“It’s hard to think of another recent project in Southern California where the forms are so forward and the material and color palette so muted. Imagine a piece of writing in all-caps but small type, or the Sex Pistols played at extremely low volume.” Ha ha!

I’m no architecture critic, nor do I have the time for a tour of the finer points, but I checked out the exterior the other morning; the building is southeast of Bridges Auditorium and replaces our old friend, the Replica House, the home built in 1937 as a replica of Pomona College’s 1888 founding building.

The outdoor stairs are, to employ architectural jargon, pretty cool.

studioarthall2

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Sacramento Bee’s love letter to Claremont

I’m late on this, but the Bee ran a lengthy paean of praise about Claremont back in November. The piece, detailed, fond and witty, ran in the Travel section. It’s nice to see an outsider so jazzed about the characteristics of a place we may take for granted.

That said, he goes a little overboard, and his superficial dig at Pomona after apparently seeing a few blocks of Indian Hill irks me. Hey, you can find Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican and soul food on Indian Hill in Pomona, arguably more diversity than what he’s marveling about in Claremont. Grr. (Characteristically, the only reason I know this article exists is because a Claremonter bragged to me about it — by bringing up the Pomona slam.)

Oh well. I do like this line: “…you’ll encounter all the markers of a college-town milieu, from the grossly disproportionate number of frozen yogurt establishments to the cadre of crunchy, burned-out locals who lounge outside coffee shops all day.”

Read the piece here, look at the photo gallery here and offer your reaction below.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Tradition!

fiddler

The Laemmle theater chain’s seventh annual “Sing-Along ‘Fiddler on the Roof’” will screen at the Laemmle Claremont 5 at 7:30 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Lyrics will be provided to the film’s songs, which include “Tradition,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “To Life” and “Sunrise Sunset”; trivia and prizes are promised and attending in costume is encouraged, if your wardrobe runs to early 20th century Russian village attire. Admission is $18, or $15 for seniors.

The movie lasts (ulp) three hours, by the way.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Stephen Neil Hyland Jr. in the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

pentagon1

I visited the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial in November, the subject of my Wednesday column. Lt. Col. Stephen Neil Hyland Jr., a Claremont native, is honored there. Here are photos of the scene. Above is the explanatory display outside the memorial.

pentagon2

Victims’ names are in alphabetical order and their year of birth is noted.

pentagon3

The memorial itself.

pentagon6

Around the perimeter of the memorial, a wall rises from 3 inches to 71 inches, the age range of the victims. Panels show each birth year. 1955 was Hyland’s.

pentagon7

I turned and saw this line of benches. Some years have one, some have many. Benches for Pentagon employees face the building; ones for passengers on American Airlines Flight 77 face away, along the path the plane took, according to Wikipedia.

pentagon5

This is Hyland’s.

pentagon4

Above is another view, Hyland’s bench in the foreground.

pentagon8

On my way out, I noticed this panel. Someone had used ground cover to spell out “Love.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Bummer! Hip Kitty jazz club to close

hipkitty3

hipkitty1

Hip Kitty, a Claremont lounge specializing in fondue and live music, will soon end its run. The business is in the process of being sold and is expected to close Jan. 31.

I was there with friends on Saturday celebrating a birthday. (Hi, Allison Evans!) Owner Nancy Tessier came over to say hello and I gave her the third degree. Ehh, it’s what I do. She confirmed that the club would soon close.

She opened the club in April 2007, shortly after her husband, Jerry, had finished renovation of the old citrus packing plant and opened it as the Packing House, which has businesses and lofts. She’d like to focus on her family, and maybe expand it, and decided she was better off selling the business, which is still successful, as the full house showed.

The new owners plan a speakeasy theme and may call the place Whisper. They will serve small plates and concentrate on cocktails. No fondue and, more crucially, no live music. Tessier was sorry about that and so are musicians: She’s always booked jazz and swing bands for the retro-themed club.

That night, the Lindy Sisters, a trio in the mold of the Andrews Sisters, performed, backed by the Hepcats. Watch a video here of them performing “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” Tessier said she’s booked other favorites for farewell appearances through January. The last night is undetermined but may fall in early February, depending on when the sale closes.

I’m sorry the lounge is closing, but at least it’s going out in style, and while it’s still popular. Check it out one — or more — last times before Hip Kitty slinks away into the moonlight.

* Update: The club is now expected to close in late March. My colleague Wes Woods wrote a feature on the place with photos.

hipkitty2

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

‘Christmas’ in Claremont

achristmasstory

“A Christmas Story” will screen at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Garner House Courtyard in Memorial Park, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., courtesy of Claremont Heritage. Dress warmly as the screening is outdoors — although with a storm expected, the screening will be moved indoors at the same location. Admission is free and hot cocoa and cider will be provided. Film-specific attire is encouraged — but please, don’t bring a BB gun.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email