Sunday’s column focuses on Rabiaa Albaghdadi, the namesake of Rabi’s Cafe in Upland. She’s about to become a U.S. citizen. I share her story of emigrating from Syria 18 years ago and we talk about the refugee crisis.
Wednesday’s column starts with five items from Upland, followed by three Culture Corner notes and three Valley Vignettes. Other than knowing I like the sign, I don’t know anything about Classy Mart other than that it’s been here quite a while. How about you?
Occasionally I would eat at the Pick Up Stix at 131 W. Foothill Blvd. in Upland, especially before City Council meetings. On April 28, after bowling nearby, I drove up, hungry, and found this sign: “Temporarily closed due to equipment repairs,” with a note that there’s a new Upland location at the Colonies shopping center.
Turns out the Foothill location is permanently closed. It’s about to become home to a Lebanese restaurant, Mes Amis. Was the sign an example of denial?
I’m reminded of a New Orleans restaurant that used to operate in Montclair. The landlord canceled the lease and sold the property, but the restaurateur claimed to me that he didn’t know anything about it. After the last day, a sign was posted on the door that the restaurant was “closed for remodeling” — not long before the building was demolished.
He hasn’t been to the City of Gracious Living, but President Obama did eat at Upland, the New York restaurant whose chef was born at San Antonio Hospital. Evidently Obama ate brunch there Saturday with daughters Malia and Sasha, reports Eater NY, which opines: “The leader of the free world has great taste in restaurants.” Thanks to readers Ann Lara and Matt Krupnick for the tip. Lara also found an Instagram video of Obama leaving the restaurant; in the still above, he’s in dark blue in the center of the frame.
My blog post about my visit to the restaurant is here, with a link to my column on the chef. Nice to know the president of the United States and I have similar taste in food. (We also both like Pi Pizza in St. Louis.)
Sunday’s column has items from Upland, one of which explains the headline, as well as from Rancho Cucamonga and Pomona. The last one’s origin is unknown but it was too weird not to use.
Friday’s column is about the Buffalo Inn, a Route 66 restaurant and tavern that’s been serving the public since 1929. It’s been closed by a bankruptcy trustee, the owners locked out, and with developers hovering, it’s in question whether it will reopen.
Also, I’ve got items from Ontario and Claremont, and about Free Comic Book Day.
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.
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”?
Sunday’s column has a rare sports-related item regarding the soccer star (with a link to his recent TV commercial), followed by Culture Corner items, an unusual question from a Cal Poly Pomona student and a new paint job for a Montclair icon.
The parking lot signs say “The Survival Store,” the store says “Prep and Save,” and they’re both great names. This latest, and most unusual, addition to the retail landscape is the focus of Friday’s sillier-than-usual column.