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.
Sunday’s column begins with an item about a special — and free! — screening of the first zombie movie, the 1932 Bela Lugosi camp-fest “White Zombie,” which happens to co-star a woman who later went on to own a junk store in Ontario. Er, interesting career trajectory, no? She’s Madge Bellamy, pictured below, eyes wide. I’m introducing the film, and selling my book, too. That’s at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Upland’s Carnegie Cultural Center, 123 E. D St.
After that item: more news from Upland; an update on the Girl Scout property in Claremont with news about a similarly threatened property in Chino; and a farewell to the late sculptor Aldo Casanova.
Sunday’s column starts with a local angle to the Sept. 18 JetBlue incident that made the news, then continues with some Culture Corner briefs and an item on a Rancho Cucamonga woman who won more than $44,000 in prizes and cash on “The Price is Right.” Now how much would you pay?
In Wednesday’s column, Kishi owner Peter Uno shares more of his favorite jokes. Be prepared to laugh, roll your eyes or both. Also: Culture Corner items, a short history of an Ontario business and, why not, a comment about the weather.
Peter Uno has sold Kishi Japanese Restaurant in Upland to new owners, who take over Sept. 2. The restaurant opened in 1982 at 320 W. Foothill Blvd. and was the first sushi bar in the region. Sunday’s column tells his story.
Feel free to comment below if you have a memory of the restaurant.
Wednesday’s column breaks some news, at least for those who follow municipal doings. Cable Airport has a new manager, and it’s Upland’s newly ‘retired” ex-city manager. Did not see that coming.
Wednesday’s column is about the transition to a new city manager in Upland, which is under way, and about a spat with political overtones from Monday’s Upland council meeting. Also, about a personal quirk of the new manager, who prefers not to be photographed.
Above, Martin Lomeli, or maybe J.D. Salinger.
All the latest from Upland City Hall and the City Council can be found in Wednesday’s column.