Sunday’s column might have just been a blog post. Reader Ken Brock sent me a photo in November of the “Monte Vista Ave, Formerly Padua Ave” sign in Claremont and wondered why it was there. I dithered for a while on whether to use that as a simple blog post or to research his question for a column. I followed the latter course and am glad I did.
The controversial Nativity display in Claremont is down, and so were spirits after reading some of the thousands of angry, weird and often racist commentary online about it. In Wednesday’s column I talk to artist John Zachary about the reaction to his display and on how my Christmas column went viral.
For a Christmas Day column, I present a piece on Claremont United Methodist Church’s annual Nativity display, which in recent years updates the traditional scene to comment on homelessness, war, immigration or other themes. This year, a dying Trayvon Martin is the centerpiece.
I’ll be more curious than usual to hear the reaction to this column.
Oh, and merry Christmas!
A special screening of the classic French film “Contempt” in Claremont on Sunday drew not only cinema lovers, but the owners of the Laemmle theater chain, who reflected on the theater’s fortunes and the film’s star, Brigitte Bardot. That’s the first item in Friday’s column, which also works in items from Montclair, Chino, Chino Hills, Rancho Cucamonga and Pomona.
Reed Herrick and Lydia Clarke, seen at Grand Central Market.
The Cheese Cave, a Claremont gourmet food shop, is opening a second location, this one in downtown LA’s Grand Central Market. It’s a rare example of a business from the 909 expanding to LA rather than vice-versa. Wednesday’s column tells the story.
For careful readers, this is the interview in LA that I combined with a Metrolink trip to LA Opera last Wednesday, as mentioned in last Friday’s column.
Grand Central Market, founded in 1917, is one block north of the Pershing Square subway stop, making it easy to visit for Metrolink riders. The market is well worth a visit.
Only in Claremont? Meditating young people obstructing the sidewalk between Coffee Bean and Jamba Juice encounter man’s best friend, who was as confused as the rest of us. A barking contest ensued. Video is here.
What may be Claremont’s most obscure monument has stood at Fourth and College since 1895. It commemorates a new Pomona College headquarters that was started miles away in the foothills in 1888 and never completed. But the cornerstone was rescued seven years later and moved to the Claremont campus. The strange story is in my Wednesday column.
I saw this poster on an Expo Line train last weekend in L.A. The MTA has posters for many, maybe all, of the county’s cities, which are displayed at various subway and train stations. The one for Pomona is, or at least was, at the Civic Center stop. This Claremont poster, with art by Jessica Polzin McCoy, is relatively new, as is the Expo Line itself. (it currently runs from Seventh Street downtown to Culver City. A second phase, to Santa Monica, is due in 2015.)
“Delicate watercolors depict a college town that flourishes within the creative environment of The Claremont University Consortium,” the text reads, “and opens an informal invitation to visit a backyard, ride a bike, step into a shady grove and attend school.”
I was a judge, one of 16, at the Claremont Pie Festival on Saturday. I describe the experience in my Wednesday column.
Above, I’m hard at work, a moment captured by impish Claremont Councilman Sam Pedroza, who wasn’t a judge (Corey Calaycay was) but kibitzed with us. Below, a typical serving, of which we generally ate half, and below that, the scene afterward in which bakers served free tastes of their entries.
And you can watch a 45-second video — my first, and it shows — of a portion of the pie-eating contest here.