Two events this next week, part of Pomona’s community read of “Farewell to Manzanar,” relate to Pomona’s own role in the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. That and other items, from Upland, Claremont and Chino Hills, make up Friday’s column.
Pappas Artisanal Sandwiches, 2232 D St. (at Second), La Verne; brunch only on Sundays.
Taking over the former Dillons BBQ and Phoenix Garden spot, Pappas opened in early 2013 in downtown La Verne. I heard good things and checked it out recently with two avowed fans. I was not disappointed.
The interior is brick, open and loft-like, with seating that includes high wooden communal tables. Nice ambience. You order at the counter. The menu, which changes frequently, has sandwiches, burgers, salads, soups and pastas, plus eight beers on tap, more in bottles, and wines, as well as housemade iced teas, cookies and other neat items.
I had the al pastor as a “potato nest,” meaning on crisp potatoes rather than on their housebaked bread ($9.25) and a mint cucumber tea ($2.50). My friends got a tuna melt ($8.45), a burger with egg and bacon ($12) and an ice cream sandwich ($4.75).
The al pastor itself was good, but the nest didn’t work: too many potatoes, not enough vegetables. Could be I should have mixed it. Lesson learned. I wish I’d noticed the tuna melt on that day’s menu, which my friend loved; careful readers may recall tuna melts as my baseline sandwich. The burger and ice cream sandwich were said to be very good. Oh, and I enjoyed an oatmeal cookie with white chocolate and cranberries ($1.50).
I returned another day for lunch, ordering the half-sandwich/soup combo ($8.50): an albacore sandwich, fresh and delicious, and creamy jalapeno chicken soup, like cream of chicken soup with a mild kick. Really good.
Might be a touch pricey for University of La Verne students, but the faculty are among those who’ve adopted Pappas. “It’s very urban. It doesn’t make me feel like I’m in the suburbs,” one friend said approvingly. I’d put it in a rare class of local restaurants where they care about quality, seasonal ingredients.
Jason Christman has created what he calls “vintage-style travel posters for downtown Pomona,” and they’ll be on view at the Metro Art Gallery, 119 W. Second St., Pomona, starting Saturday (the monthly Second Saturday Art Walk) and continuing during business hours through December. The invitation with thumbnail images is above, and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest. An artist’s reception takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
Christman, who used to own the Celtic Gallery downtown and now lives in Portland, Ore., says: “These 6 prints are 24×36. Limited to 10 each numbered and signed. Plus 100 4×6 postcards of each as well. Something for everyone. Prints are $125 ($250 mounted like in the gallery). Postcards are $3 each or $15 for the set.”
A weekly stroll on the Euclid median turned into a foot pursuit by an Ontario councilwoman after she accosted a man taping up one of the hundreds of solicitation notices that have gone up citywide in recent weeks and he thought he could outrun her. Nope.
Following that in Wednesday’s column are some culture corner items, word of a series of civil rights speakers in Claremont and a visit to an LA Aqueduct-themed history exhibit.
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.
If you lived here pre-1973, you might recall the 1903 Cadillac pictured above from the Thomas Winery at Foothill and Vineyard in Cucamonga. Gino Filippi, of the winery family, told me: “I remember when I was young, the car was at the Thomas Winery on display for years. The Thomas Bros. sold the winery to our family in 1967. I think the car was one of a few NOT included in the sale.”
Filippi sent me a link to a Bonhams auction notice for the car, from 2007, when it sold for $337,000. It was billed as “the oldest known surviving Cadillac.”
The fledgling company’s first car was completed in late 1902. Says Bonham: “The car offered here – serial number ‘13’, the oldest known surviving Cadillac – was one of three displayed at the New York Auto Show in January 1903, the others being numbers ‘10’ and ‘11’. At that show, Cadillac’s sales manager William E. Metzger took orders for a staggering 2,286 cars and sold all three on display, ‘13’ being purchased by a Mr. Thomas, owner of the Thomas Winery in Cucamonga, California.
“The factory ledger shows the first 17 cars produced, recording that ‘13’ was the 6th to be invoiced and the 3rd shipped. Six of the first dozen cars remained unsold and may have been retained for development purposes. None is known to exist. Historical research has determined that ‘13’ was the first Cadillac to be shipped west of the Mississippi and the first sold to California.”
Isn’t that something? The first Cadillac to be shipped west of the Mississippi bypassed Anaheim and Azusa to come straight to Cucamonga.
Bonhams continues: “’13′ remained within its first owner’s family, for many years on display at the Thomas Winery in Cucamonga, until February 1973 when it was acquired by Cadillac collector Patrick Herman, who knew little of its history at the time other than it was a one-owner car.” Herman bought the car from Thomas’ great-granddaughter and transported it to his home in Utah.
A Bloomberg story from 2007 says that when Pat Herman bought the car, the winery had been sold “and the Cadillac was stored in a garage full of old refrigerators and washing machines. The car was missing numerous parts and showed the ravages of time, so the restoration, which was completed in 1989, was not a simple process.”
The car was restored in Montebello and went on to win many car show awards.
Bonhams concludes: “The three cars displayed at the New York Auto Show in 1903 were the first Cadillacs shown to the public and the first ever sold. As the sole survivor of these pioneers, ’13′ is thus a vehicle of quite exceptional importance in the history of the American automobile industry. Quite simply: the Cadillac story started here.”
An RM Auctions notice in January 2012 says the car had been bought in 2007 by John O’Quinn, and adds the detail that in 1973, the car had been in storage in Upland. RM says the car sold at its 2012 auction, from O’Quinn’s estate, for $134,750, or well under half what O’Quinn paid.
I don’t know its whereabouts, although surely some Cadillac collectors’ group knows. More importantly for our purposes, do any of you recall having seen the car in its some 70 years in Cucamonga?
Here’s a video dated 2010 of what may be the same car, or at least a similar model, being cranked into motion.
Books acquired: too many to list!
Books read: “Catching Fire,” Sizanne Collins; “Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY and the Bittersweet Story of 1970,” David Browne.
This is a first: a month in which I read only two books. Going back to the start of these Reading Logs in January 2008, at minimum I’ve read three, on a few occasions, especially toward the end of a year. But two! That’s getting dangerously close to one. In my defense, they did total 750 pages, and I read about 200 more from another, longer book I hope to finish in December, about rock critic Paul Nelson.
October was a busy month. It took me the first eight days to read the second “Hunger Games” novel because, what with one thing or another, I couldn’t put together more than a lunch hour daily to read. Then I left on an extended vacation and didn’t have time to read more than 30 pages per day of “Fire and Rain,” and usually only 10. Back home, and after two weeks of daily but incremental progress, I took a Metrolink trip and — at last — had time for 90 pages. I read the last 25 the next day. Whew.
“Catching Fire” was highly enjoyable, and I’m looking forward to the movie this month! It’s funny how easy it is to get caught up in these fantasy worlds. I bought this book in September at B&N Montclair.
“Fire and Rain” — note how I read two books with “fire” in the title? — was a friend’s gift a year or two ago. Published in 2011, it focuses on the transitional year of 1970, when three major pop groups broke up and James Taylor went from semi-obscurity to great fame. I liked it. Lots of fascinating detail and anecdotes. Garfunkel at least once hitchhiked to a concert. Taylor, despite his Mr. Mellow reputation, was a heroin addict. Joni Mitchell had flings with Crosby, Nash and Taylor (not at the same time). Still and Nash were both pursuing Rita Coolidge. Paul McCartney sued his former bandmates on New Year’s Eve 1970 just to ruin their year! Oh, those lovable moptops.
About all I did to my books backlog this month was increase it by buying a bunch more. That’s how it goes. I’ll do better in November. How’d you do in October?
Next month: the Master of Suspense winds up all over my floor.
I blogged about Lou here the other day and expressed the hope that I could squeeze in a column on him this week. And so I have: Sunday’s.
It’s all right, but it’s tough to write about someone you admire, and I wish I’d had more time because after sweating over it half the day, filing it at 3 p.m. Friday, only then taking lunch, all I could think about were the things I’d left out.
For instance, “Songs for Drella,” his 1990 album collaboration with John Cale, should have made my favorites list; it’s a concept album about Andy Warhol, their friend and patron from their Velvet Underground days. I gave Reed’s music, as opposed to his lyrics, short shrift. And why didn’t I take a looser, funnier and more personal approach? “The Velvet Underground” is such a meaningful album for me.
In other words, I wish I could’ve scrapped it and started from scratch. (Which doesn’t guarantee the finished column would be better, of course, only different, and maybe worse.) With newspapers, as with a lot of things in life, you do the best you can in the time allotted, and then you let it go. I hope I at least gave newcomers an idea why Lou Reed was great, and that for those who already know, that I didn’t embarrass myself too much.
(By the way, I took a new photo of my Lou Reed collection for the column, adding two boxes and an LP at the bottom that I’d forgotten in my blog photo. Later, at the office, I realized I could have added a DVD and three or four books. Hah!)
Ontario’s Walmart Supercenter is finally open. I checked it out and also checked in with some nearby merchants for Friday’s column.
Pancakes R Us, 2282 N. Garey Ave. (at Arrow), Pomona; open daily.
The first location is in Costa Mesa, the second in Pomona, an expansion model you don’t see very often. Pancakes R Us took over the closed Sizzler between a KFC and a shuttered classic Arby’s in north Pomona earlier this month.
It was moderately busy on a Sunday morning. We were immediately greeted and sat, and our beverage orders taken. Service was a little shaky, but attentive. What surprised me was how few pancakes a place named Pancakes R Us had on its menu: 10 varieties, by my count, including buttermilk. apple, blueberry, boysenberry, peach, strawberry, country nut and grain, chocolate chip, potato and pumpkin.
What, no banana? I thought banana and blueberry were as basic as you could get. I went for pumpkin ($8). They were acceptable, and with no syrup accompanying, I used the maple at the table. The second person got pigs in blankets ($7), four sausages in four buttermilk pancakes. He had no complaints.
That didn’t hold true for the third person, whose huevos rancheros ($8.29) were poor: scrambled rather than fried, with canned refried beans and clumpy rice on the side, and pickled jalapenos on top rather than the roasted whole jalapenos depicted on the menu (with fried eggs). She was told corn tortillas weren’t available for her side, only flour, but the eggs were served atop fried corn tortillas. “I’d give this one star,” she said, picking at her inedible rice.
So, it’s good to see a middle-of-the-road restaurant open in Pomona, one serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, but my first visit was not promising. In fact, it fell flat as a pancake. Well, there’s a Carrows a few blocks away on Foothill, and Flappy Jack’s in Glendora serves up a lot more pancakes.