The Arroyo cell tower

48154-arroyo cell.jpg

Lousy (cell phone) photograph, but let me assure you, the real thing looks worse: A temporary cell tower placed in the far northwest corner of the central Arroyo Seco to help with the one day a year when the area is clogged with too much mobile traffic: Jan. 1.

But I saw the thing being put up well over a week ago, which means it’s visual pollution for over six weeks for the tens of thousands of hikers, runners, cyclists and motorists who will go past it for its one day of useful life.

It had to be put up that early … like the grandstands … ’cause, what, the economy is so fantastic that the workers are fully booked from here through New Year’s Day and otherwise couldn’t squeeze it in?



A reader found at a local farmers market this classic jar of Zor-Honey, harvested from the hives behind the Zorthian Ranch way above Fair Oaks Avenue in the days of yore.

I have a couple such honey pots myself. Mmm — tastes like Altadena.

Dabney and Jirayr are gone from us. But Alice, Alan and family still own the ranch.

The ‘Energy’ at Art Center


My snapshot here is from artist Rebeca Mendez’s mesmerizing “At Any Given Moment, Grass 2 With Burnt Wood” in the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center College of Design’s Lida Street campus. The burnt wood, not pictured, was gathered from a canyon above La Canada swept over by the Station Fire where Descanso Gardens gets most of its water from. Turns out it’s not that easy to gather lots of burnt wood in the forest because of the ongoing lack of access. Helps that Descanso Exec Direct David Brown is the former president of Art Center.

New toque at Langham Huntington


Last Thursday night David Feau, the new chef at the Langham Huntington Hotel’s renamed Royce restaurant, gave a sneak preview of his talents to a few locals and L.A. foodie types. Verdict: get any beef he grills on a hibachi. Actually, all the passed pupus I had were great. The new room is over-the-top elegant. Separate glassed-in wine cellars for the white and the red. He may be French, protege of Guy Savoy, and may have been top cookie at Lutece and for Joachim Splichal’s Patina, but, hey, Feau lives in Eagle Rock. No airs there.

Helen of Pasadena

Colleen Dunn Bates, publisher of Pasadena’s Prospect Park Books, sends over this funny YouTube video promoting Lian Dolan’s new novel “Helen of Pasadena,” which I reviewed recently in my column:

At the book party last Thursday night at the Little Flower Candy Company, home of those delicious fancy marshmallows, Colleen and Lian raised over $900 for Pasadena’s Cancer Support Community.