Column: Betsy-Tacy and Claremont are now bench friends

Revisiting a couple of columns from early 2014, Wednesday’s column provides an update on the worn bench outside the Claremont Public Library dedicated to children’s author and onetime Claremont resident Maud Hart Lovelace and her Betsy-Tacy books. The bench has been repainted and repaired and is back in place. Also, the library now has all 10 of the books on the shelves.

(I really didn’t think it would require 13 months to be able to follow up on this, but the wheels of government apparently turn slowly.)

In other news in my column, exhibits on comic books and Dr. Seuss are on view at the Pomona Public Library, and new county supervisor Hilda Solis makes a surprising comment that does not involve Pomona.

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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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Studio Art Hall, Pomona College

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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.

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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.

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