A former adult bookstore building was being torn down last Thursday on Central Avenue below Foothill Boulevard in Upland. It was once Mustang Books and Video, a thorn in the side of Upland City Hall and residents. The area was outside city limits for most of its existence. San Bernardino County negotiated the 2010 closure of the store, which had bedeviled them since at least the 1990s. And now, the vacant building is nearly gone. Its black-wrapped pole sign seems to be in mourning.
My Saturday morning flight in a hot air balloon from Upland’s Cable Airport to the best landing spot we could find in Claremont is the subject of Wednesday’s column. Here are some additional photos. And you can watch a short video from near the end of our flight. Above, I’m hanging on for dear life and we haven’t even left the ground.
And we’re off! This photo and the one at top are by Christine Canepa.
Here’s my view of essentially the same scene: a former (?) homeless encampment southwest of Cable.
Here’s pilot Paul Cheatham with (I think) Pitzer College in the background.
That’s the Arco station below at Foothill and Claremont Boulevard. We were drifting northwest and hoping for a decent patch on which to land, which we found at Chaparral Park.
Above, the Eagle has landed. Actually, it’s not the Eagle, it’s the Hummingbird, Cheatham’s name for his smallest balloon. The balloon was deflated and packed away. Thus ends Dave and Paul’s Excellent Adventure.
These two old-time photos were sent to me by reader Joe Mannella. The one above is said to date from 1946. The future Stinky’s is on the left. The view is looking east on Foothill, or Route 66, with Mountain Avenue beyond the building.
An even older view is below. This is said to be from 1934, looking north on Mountain from Foothill.
These are not the best photos — they’re reproduced the size I got them, if you click on the images for a larger view — and yet they give us latecomers a glimpse of how rural Upland once was. It’s hard to reconcile these views with today’s busy intersection with retail stores, restaurants and gas stations and multiple lanes of traffic.
Thanks, Mr. Mannella.
Sunday’s column starts with an anecdote from the ever-entertaining Rabi’s Cafe. Then I have some Claremont items, a couple of books with local references and — I hope no one minds — a list of stores that stock “Pomona A to Z.”
Zagat has posted kind comments and a video about the New York City restaurant Upland, calling it “this year’s hottest restaurant.” You can read and watch that here.
Friday’s column reports on the second annual Movember mustache-growing contest by Upland firefighters, who this time were joined by counterparts in Montclair and Rancho Cucamonga.
Carol Timm (whose longtime campaign slogan was “It’s Time for Timm”) was elected to the Upland City Council. She was sworn in at Monday’s meeting. That’s the first half of my Wednesday column; the back half is about Saturday’s Christmas Parade, in which I drove the grand marshal, Marilyn Anderson. See photo above! John Valenzuela took it.
The photo below was shot by Ann Lara, who was in the passenger seat, as I guided the car in to a stop at the end.
Monday saw my triumphant (?) return to an Upland City Council meeting. I was there as a show of respect to Brendan Brandt, a councilman for the past 12 years, whose last full meeting it was. Wednesday’s column has my report on the meeting and post-meeting interview with him.
Upland reader Ann Lara loves her city; she’s the one who leads monthly walking tours of downtown. And so when she visited NYC this month, she made sure to seek out Manhattan’s new restaurant, Upland, named for the chef’s hometown.
“Great place, great food,” Lara reports. Wearing an Upland sweatshirt for effect, she told someone she was from Upland and got to meet both general manager Troy Weissmann and executive chef Justin Smillie.
“Justin was born at San Antonio Hospital and grew up in Rancho Cucamonga. He lived there until his eighth grade year and his family moved. The restaurant is decorated with lemons because it reminded him of his grandparents’ back yard,” Lara says. (See photo below of lemons in jars.)
Sounds as if Smillie could just as easily have named his restaurant Cucamonga, but Upland probably has a better ring to it. Lara told Smillie to be prepared for more hungry, and curious, Uplanders. Ever the Upland booster, she brought along some Upland postcards from the Cooper Regional History Museum for him.
She also brought along a newspaper for a Daily Bulletin on Vacation photo with Smillie.
Friday’s column is about the screening in Upland of “White Zombie,” which served as a tribute to actress Madge Bellamy, who spent her later years in Ontario and died in Upland. Also, two unusual 909 sightings in the national media and a plug for Claremont’s Village Venture, which takes place Saturday. I’ll be selling books from 11 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of Rhino Records.