Going co-op for groceries in Altadena



Public Editor Larry Wilson picks up in his column the story on a potential cooperative (meaning, member-owned) food market that’s gaining steam in Altadena:

Right now, in the organizing phase, Arroyo is
looking for 500 members to come in at $300 before the end of the year
to raise some capital toward start-up costs and construction beginning
next summer. The group says that some of the advantages to the early
adapters will be members-only events and discounts on store items.

One beauty part: “We want to build not just a healthy
grocery store but a gathering place in the community for events and
classes, plus a locally run cafe and brew pub.”

The Arroyo Food Co-op would aim to provide more organic products, stock from local producers, reasonable prices and a direct line to a more sustainable, “green” lifestyle.

Scenes from ‘Baby It’s You’ at the Pasadena Playhouse


Now at the Pasadena Playhouse: “Baby It’s You,” a musical about the groundbreaking girl group, The Shirelles, and the woman who discovered them. She was Florence Greenberg, a New Jersey housewife who went on to build her own independent music empire in Scepter Records company.

Show ends Dec. 13. Schedule and tickets.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

The Hollywood Reporter:

“A promising new musical that still has problems in the book but knows how to entertain.”

Los Angeles Times, Culture Monster:

“Attractively staged, ‘Baby It’s You!’ works best as a nostalgic spectacle for aging boomers. It’s a shame that the dramatic craft is so weak …”


“‘Baby It’s You’ has the legs to potentially make a successful trip to the Big Apple once it achieves a more symbiotic balance between music and storyline. The onstage talent is certainly in place.”

And here’s some more critical input from Theater Mania and Curtain Up.


(Photos by James Carbone / Correspondent)

Arcadia’s WWII history and the Santa Anita Assembly Center



There’s a new exhibit at the Ruth and Charles Gilb Arcadia Historical Museum that offers up a dark and lesser-known side of the city’s past for examination.

In the 1940s, Arcadia’s Santa Anita Park was the location of a temporary assembly center for Japanese and Japanese Americans, before they were sent to live in internment camps throughout the United States during World War II.

Museum curator Dana Dunn told the Star-News: “You’d be surprised at how many people have no idea that this happened.” From the report by Michelle J. Mills:

Dunn read and was told in interviews that the camp was a clean, organized and a strict place to live. People were told to bring a coat and were allowed few possessions.

“They had the guards up in the towers with guns and barbed wire all around you. You can’t leave and you’re there in the summertime and there’s no insulation in the building,” Dunn said. …

“The one story I hear a lot is about the guards in the tower at night. If you wanted to get up and go to the bathroom, you could do that but the spotlight would hit you, and they’d follow you with the spotlight all the way to the bathroom. You’d go in the bathroom, and when you came out the spotlight was there, and they followed you all the way back,” Dunn said.

There was also an assembly center at Pomona’s Fairplex.

In the photo at top, a child arrives at the Santa Anita Assembly Center in Arcadia. More photos below.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. Osamu Miyamoto, Akkiko Nomura and other guests will speak on the Santa Anita Assembly Center.

“Only What We Could Carry: The Santa Anita Assembly Center” runs through Jan. 16. 10 a.m.-4 p.m Tuesday-Saturday. Closed on holidays. Open 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 24 and 31. 380 W. Huntington Drive in Arcadia. Admission is free.

Japanese Americans read a poster ordering them to prepare
to be sent to assembly centers across the United States.
A train leaves the Santa Anita Assembly Center in Arcadia,
headed for one of the relocation centers in the United States.

(Photos courtesy the Arcadia Historical Museum)

Fashion weekend: Sinking ships and Betsy Bloomingdale


The Sidney D. Gamble Lecture Series opens its 2009-2010 season tomorrow with two fashion-oriented engagements.

  • 34474-RBLOG-TITANIC-LADY-new.jpg

    At 10 a.m., Kevin Jones — curator of the museum at downtown’s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising — will speak at Art Center College of Design on “adDRESSING Titanic: Appearance and Identity in 1912.”

The lecture explores the four categories of passengers on the ill-fated ship: first class, second class, steerage and crew. The Titanic is known to have carried some of the day’s illustrious figures of fashion, from those in high society to industry trade to journalists.

Like their wearers, some garments survived the journey, while others were recovered from the site of the wreckage.

  • Jones will also lead a 1 p.m. tour at the FIDM Museum of an exhibit he curated: “High Style: Betsy Bloomingdale and the Haute Couture.”

Fashion icon and socialite Betsy Bloomingdale, widow of Alfred P. Bloomingdale — heir to Bloomingdale’s department stores and founder of Diners Club credit cards — donated 125 haute couture garments to the museum over 30 years.


Her French couture wardrobe, purchased from 1961 to 1996, includes designs by Marc Bohan and Gianfranco Ferr for Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent and Andr Courrges, along with ready-to-wear by James Galanos, Adolfo Sardina, Oscar de la Renta and Valentino Garavani.

Sixty ensembles are on display, showcasing Bloomingdale’s favorite designers, her personal style and life. Colored sketches, fabric swatches, contemporary photographs and magazine layouts accompany the garments.

Forget cotton; This is the fabric of a life. (Stunning photo gallery of just a handful of gowns below)

Titanic lecture: 10 a.m., Art Center, Ahmanson Auditorium, 1700 Lida St., Pasadena. Tickets.

Bloomingdale tour: 1 p.m., suggested donation: $35 general admission, FIDM Museum & Galleries, Grand Hope Park, 1st Level, 919 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles.

Red evening gown of silk crpe and organza adorned with flowers.
Autumn/Winter 1989-90. Gianfranco Ferr for Dior.
Silk gazar, dramatic bow-evening gown.
Spring/Summer 1983. Marc Bohan for Dior.
Gown of polka dot, printed silk charmeuse with black cotton lace and snakeskin trim.
Spring/Summer 1982. Marc Bohan for Dior.
Black iridescent coq feathers and silk chiffon crepe dress.
1985. Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel.

(Photos courtesy Brian Sanderson, FIDM Photography; and Friends of The Gamble House)

Actress Lauren Potter makes appearance on ‘Glee’



Rose Magazine caught up with actress Lauren Potter back in July, when she was getting some new head shots taken by photographer Kendall Roclord in his Pasadena studio.


Roclord had opened up the studio to actors, like Potter, with Down syndrome, so they could get some free, professional head shots and hopefully land some gigs. At the time, the 19-year-old had just finished shooting an episode of “Glee.” Staff writer Richard Irwin described her as “positively bubbling.”

Of her part on the show, she said: “I play Becky Jackson, a high-school sophomore with Down syndrome who joins the high-school cheerleading squad.”

Last night, the episode featuring Potter aired on FOX. Her role seems like it may be a recurring one. Clip below.

(Top photo by Keith Birmingham / Staff; Screen grab via FOX and Hulu)

On the lookout: Rodarte for Target



The Rodarte for Target line is among the most anticipated of year. By now, we’ve come to expect no less from the Mulleavy sisters — the dominating fashion duo who hail from Pasadena — especially after their coup d’tat against serious heavy hitters at New York Fashion Week in September.

The Target line drops just in time for holiday shopping on Dec. 20, and the Internet world has been practically frothing at the mouth to get a glimpse of it.

The first (authorized) looks are finally trickling in, thanks to a fresh round of fashion mags hitting the stands with December issues — and editorial spreads featuring the collab line.

Lucky Magazine’s blog has a compilation of links where you can get your gander on and start planning your New Year’s Eve ensemble. (Photo at right, from Teen Vogue via Lucky: Actress Dakota Fanning in a leopard-print mini dress by Rodarte for Target)

We’ll have more from this line in the winter issue of Rose Magazine.

(Photo via Lucky Magazine and Teen Vogue)

‘A Cut Above': Tuskegee Airmen will take wing at 2010 Rose Parade


By Claudia S. Palma

West Covina Rose Float Association held its fifth annual Evening of
Wine and Roses fundraising event with a 1940s USO theme on Saturday,
Nov. 7, at the Charisma Floats warehouse in Irwindale.

warehouse transformed into what looked like a hangar perfect for the
unveiling of the foundation’s 2010 Rose Parade entry “The Tuskegee
Airmen — A Cut Above.”


Many guests were all dressed up in their best 1940s inspired threads.

It was great to see many were definitely not afraid to get into the full spirit of the theme. There
were even ladies dressed up as candy/cigarette girls complete with
trays hanging from their necks. And all the music played by DJ Eric
Wolff that night was from the 40s era. He definitely did his homework.


included many local business and community members, city of West Covina
staff, commission members and dignitaries including the West Covina
police chief, mayor and city council members and Assemblyman Dr. Ed
Hernandez (57th District).

The honorees of the night the
Tuskegee Airmen, the inspiration for the float design. Some of the
Airmen will ride on the float during the New Year’s Day parade.

veterans got an up close view of the mostly bare float which features
two “Red Tailed” mustang planes looking as if they are in flight with
an American Bald Eagle ready for flight following behind and two U.S.
flags flown at the back. Along the side of the float are blown up black
and white portraits of the airmen taken during their time of service
decades ago.

The men will ride in seats in the front of the float.

Even in its bare state, you could feel the great presence the float will have on the parade route.


float builder is Charisma Floats and will be decorated with flowers and
natural materials over the next few weeks by volunteers just in time
for the parade.

“All the Airmen and their family and friends
were extremely excited to see the float up close and to be part of such
a gala event,” said Chris Freeland, Executive Vice President of the

Freeland said the Foundation wanted to pay tribute
to those who served in the armed forces and after much brainstorming
decided to recognize the Tuskegee Airmen for the sacrifices they made
and adversity they had to overcome while fighting for our freedom
during World War II.


“We are convinced that when our float
travels down Colorado Blvd. on January 1, those lining the parade route
will rise out of their seats and cheer for these fine men that served
honorably and with distinction, while dealing with segregation,” added
“Their story goes well beyond our float, but we
cherish the opportunity to educate the community on the Airmen that
many people truly do not what they overcame and accomplished for our


The gala event served to also raise funds for the
non-profit Foundation to continue to be a part of the annual Rose
Parade tradition with this year’s entry and for their scholarship
program. The event featured a 50/50 raffle and a live and silent
auction. The group also sold vintage war-time tins and various logo
items with the Foundation’s 2010 theme.

“All the funds come from
donations and fundraising activities.  In these tough economic times,
to see (the resident and business owner’s) support is truly amazing,”
Freeland said.

This is the city’s 12th entry in the parade.
the community, it is very difficult to quantify the amount of civic
pride that our volunteers have towards our participation in the Rose
Parade,” said Freeland. “To represent our community in such a large
forum viewed by millions around the world, is truly rewarding to all of

Though it is still too early to tell how much was raised
during the gala event, from the look of the happy dancers swinging the
night away on the dance floor and the camaraderie shared by the airmen
and other service men present, the night seemed a success.


of the guests were excited to meet with the airmen, have a wonderful
dinner, and to see our float up close before it is decorated. This was
a very unique experience for many,” said Freeland.

The dinner was catered by Picasso’s Cafe in Irwindale.

was my first time time trying anything from Picasso’s and their entrees
and dessert definitely satisfied. Very delicious. I’ll have to try
their lunch sometime soon and blog about my experience on our sister site, Bentorama.
Airmen are definitely making their rounds for Veterans Day and in
anticipation of the 121st Annual Tournament of Roses parade. A group of
them have a planned appearance at the American Legion Post 13 in
Pasadena on Sunday, Nov. 15, and will receive commendations from the
city and Assemblyman Anthony Portantino.

(Photos by Sarah Reingewirtz and Claudia S. Palma / Staff)

Missing-man formation in the skies above Pasadena



Coincidentally, I was location scouting for a photo shoot this morning in Defenders Park next to the Colorado Street Bridge.

I stopped to read the plaques on the monuments in the park, like this one below, a granite structure with unknown origins.


Closest to the intersection of Orange Grove and Colorado is this heliport plaque, honoring Lt. Orrin Russell Fox, who died in World War II. That monument was dedicated in October 1950, on the spot of the city’s heliport. It was moved around a bit, but found its way back close to its original site.


I was heading back to the car when that unmistakable roaring of engines started building overhead. I looked up to see a missing-man formation — North American T-6 Texan aircraft flown by the Condor Squadron of Van Nuys — flying by on its way to make an aerial appearance at the Veterans Day celebration at Memorial Park.

The time was close to 11:11 on 11/11/09. I was just lucky to be in their path.

(Photos by Evelyn Barge / Staff)

Nightlife: The Chalet’s shift to The Black Boar is no identity crisis



THE PLACE: An Eagle Rock standard, The Chalet, was closed down in the summer to undergo a metamorphosis. The result was The Black Boar, a British-style pub with lots of cheap, craft beers on draft. The shift was met with shock and some tantrum-like resistance by The Chalet’s hardcore fans, who apparently couldn’t bear — boar? — to say goodbye. But is the bar at 1630 Colorado really so different?

THE PRICE: You can’t really argue with a drink list that’s plastered with $5 signs.

And, to think, the price gets even lower during happy hour. That runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, when all drafts and well drinks drop to just $3.


Even during peak hours, those five bucks will get you rolling through an impressive draft menu that’s extensive enough to cover all the bases while still offering some unexpected thrills. Mine was Old Speckled Hen, an English pale ale that felt befitting an establishment with a mounted boar’s head as the bar’s focal point.

THE SOUNDS: The original Chalet jukebox survives another day. The machine itself seems to have a following, so let that be the olive branch.

THE FOOD: There’s no food served, but patrons can reportedly bring in the noms from surrounding establishments. Closest of all is Casa Bianca, the famed pizza joint with infamous long lines (the wait’s worth it) and it’s just paces from The Black Boar.


THE VIBE: There’s a barely palpable difference in feeling between the former establishment and the latter. To me, that’s a good thing; The Chalet isn’t dead — it just has new life. But did it need reincarnation? I guess the owners thought so.

Maybe it’s the brighter lighting — The Chalet was always dark as midnight — and the pristine wood that would be better off for some wear. There is something slightly colder about The Black Boar, but isn’t that the stalwart English way? (The stone walls, aside from being literally cold, smack of the not-so-far-away Griffin’s dungeon-esque quality.)

The total effect is hardly bad at all. On the contrary, compared to its former life, The Black Boar still feels easy but also slick, upscale — less den and more iniquity. It’s compelling enough that my Hollywood-based companion opined, “I wish there was one near me.”

AGE GROUP: Oxy kids reign supreme in Eagle Rock, as they do in this pub. Also, for your people-watching pleasure: Local artists and alterna-hippies on the prowl in their Free People dresses and tees.


BEWARE: Beer is the emphasis here, and there’s no custom cocktail menu, despite the so-called “new cocktailian” revolution that’s creeping like kudzu through downtown L.A. and Westside. Still, with an extensive and stately bar, you’re only limited by your imagination.

GO: The Black Boar, 1630 Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock. Daily, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. (323) 258-8800.

— Take advantage of the fireplace and warm up to The Black Boar. You might find things haven’t changed so very much after all.


RATINGS: 5 is really, really hot; 4 is hot; 3 is fun, loose, low pressure; 2 is cool, relaxing; 1 is just OK, sorta cool.

Pasadena area real-estate and development roundup



    Both halves of the Greene & Greene-designed Herkimer Arms apartment building are now in their new location at 470 N. Raymond Ave. The second, 115-ton half was moved early this morning. [Photo]

  • The city is converting an unused alleyway, underneath which the Gold Line trains run, into a walkable path for pedestrians. Planters, benches and trash bins will be installed. [CurbedLA and Brigham Yen]

  • The original El Taquito has shuttered, but a second location lives on at Lake and Villa. [Hometown Pasadena]

  • Troy Boyle, former bartender at the now-defunct Crown City Brewery, has opened his own nightlife venture: T. Boyle’s Tavern opened on Halloween in Rhodes Alley behind the Ice House. [Brigham Yen]

Residential real-estate highlights via BlockShopper LA:

  • Cushman & Wakefield executive lists a three-bedroom, 3.5-bath home at 820 Laguna Road in Pasadena for $1.79 million

  • Agajanian Law Group founder lists a six-bedroom, five-bath home at 1430 Old Mill Road in San Marino for $3.13 million

  • Internist, pediatrician list a three-bedroom, three-bath home at 2875 Wallingford Road in San Marino for $1.58 million

(Photo by Walt Mancini / Staff)